MONTGOMERY, IL — The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed how we celebrate special occasions in Montgomery. From birthdays to holidays, we’ve all had to adapt to a “new normal.” As 2020 comes to a close, ringing in the new year will be no different.
Unfortunately, as we get ready to celebrate 2021, the spread of the coronavirus is surging in the United States. As a National Public Radio database shows, thousands of new cases continue to be reported daily across America.
In Illinois, there have been 16,179 deaths and more than 948,000 infections associated with COVID-19 as of Tuesday. In Kane County, 556 people have died from the virus, while nearly 41,000 people have been infected by it.
While the Food and Drug Administration recently approved two coronavirus vaccines to inoculate people against the virus, we’re not in the clear yet, health officials warn. This means that until we start to see cases dramatically go down, following safety guidelines to minimize the spread of the coronavirus remains critical.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to urge people to celebrate the holidays at home with others who live with them.
“Travel may increase your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. CDC continues to recommend postponing travel and staying home, as this is the best way to protect yourself and others this year,” CDC officials said.
So although you won't be on a packed dance floor at some club in St. Charles when the ball drops, ringing in the new year doesn’t have to be boring or unforgettable. Here are six ways to safely ring in 2021 with a bang.
1. Host a Virtual Celebration
If you can’t celebrate New Year’s Eve in person, do the next best thing — host a virtual get-together. Consider scheduling a time to meet online to watch the ball drop in Times Square. NYE 2021 in the Big Apple will NOT be open to the public this year, but the fabulous show will still go on and can be seen from the comfort of your television. While you’re at it, don’t forget to dress up for the occasion, eat some grub and just enjoy some good-ol' quality bonding time and chit-chat with loved ones.
2. Have A Dance Party
Turn up the jams and let loose with family and friends online as you all count down to midnight. If you want to make it competitive, have a dance-off. Or, better yet, turn the party into a lip sync battle if you want to up the stakes and don’t mind exposing the silly side that’s in all of us.
3. Play A Game
Whether it’s a game of Bingo, Family Feud or what have you, nothing says togetherness like a fun game. Want to make it competitive? Purchase online gift cards for the winner if you’re the host. If you're hosting the event via Zoom, the platform also has lots of games to play such as Outburst, Battleship, Quiplash and more.
4. Make Predictions For 2021
These can be silly, serious or sweet — but let’s be honest: Silly is funnier. Have each person who lives with you or anyone participating virtually make a prediction about one or more guests for 2021. Write down the predictions — and next Near Year’s Eve, when you’re ringing in 2022, revisit the list to see if any predictions came true.
5. Watch Movies All Night Long
For anyone who prefers to bring in 2021 on a much quieter level and with fewer people involved, watching an entertaining flick might be up your alley. Movies you might enjoy that center on the special occasion include “New Year's Eve,” “The Holiday” and “Bridget Jones's Diary.” Ultimately, feel free to watch whatever you want no matter what the genre/theme might be.
6. Order A Festive Dinner
Pick up some tasty grub from your favorite restaurant in St. Charles to send 2020 out on a good note. Like all of us, restaurants throughout the country could use a nice boost to end the year.
How do you plan to celebrate New Year’s Eve during the pandemic in St. Charles? Let us know in the comments section below.