In the spring of 2020 the rest of the US and the world watched
as the city that never sleeps turned into a veritable ghost town.
Times square without tourists,
giant screens urging social distancing instead of showing ads,
even the citys most colorful personalities,
complied with the message.
People are a little more socially distant,
and Im wearing this to you know play along.
Part of central park was turned into a tent city for covid patients
when city hospitals neared capacity.
The large javits convention center was converted into a 2,000 bed hospital complex.
I want to begin by thanking all the army corps of engineer people who are here today
whove done an outstanding job.
They came in very quickly
and theyre setting up his emergency hospital
which is going to be badly needed.
The US navy hospital ship USNS comfort was docked in the city for weeks,
housing over a thousand covid patients.
The national guard made sure only doctors boarded the ship,
but even as the first coronavirus wave receded.
It wasnt until summer
that New Yorkers started venturing out
meeting in places like bars and restaurants gave way to parks and squares
where it was easier to practice social distancing.
Two weeks ago I had a little engagement thing here proposed to my girlfriend
so we had we had a bunch of people out here.
Yet pre-pandemic new york has not returned.
Fifth avenue isnt bustling like it once was
but the most dramatic impact is on broadway
as the many theaters remain closed
and not expected to reopen for at least another year.
Coronavirus yeah its like viruses but life is continuing you know
what we can do like put ourselves like a jail an apartment
and how long no one knows when its going away like one year two years.
The tourism industry is hoping it wont be that long.
Authorities and business owners hope to see the first wave of tourists
in the spring of this year
after more people received the covid vaccinations
making it safer to travel.
New York welcomed 2021 without the usual celebrations and crowd on times square.
The almost empty square was another reminder
that it will be a long time before the big apple forgets 2020.
For Evgeny Maslow from New York Nris voa news