NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – People who have had it with 2020 sounded off Monday in Times Square.
December 28th marks Good Riddance Day, and offers the opportunity to destroy unpleasant memories of the previous year.
As CBS2’s Christina Fan reports, 2020 delivered the world such an ugly beatdown, you could hear the fatigue in people’s voices as they lined up to strike back on Good Riddance Day, trying to shred the past and smash their way into a better year.
What was at the top of everyone’s list? Saying “good riddance” to COVID-19.
“I just want to get rid of COVID. I think that’s really stopping everybody’s momentum,” Tres Stuart said.
“COVID-19, wearing face coverings, social distancing,” said Dover, New Jersey resident Mark Bolasky.
As opposed to years past when people crowded Times Square to physically fill out their submissions, most of the responses this year were filled out online and then printed out.
Kindergarten teacher Tamara Litt couldn’t resist coming to say goodbye to virtual learning.
“It’s something so hard to translate online, but we’ve done our best and I’m definitely ready for it to be over,” Litt said.
Times Square Alliance Vice President Tom Harris says even though the event is mostly virtual this year, it still offers satisfaction to those who struggled.
“I think it’s therapeutic. For me, just saying, I’m getting rid of my car payment. It just feels good to be able to say,” he said.
Some of the memories people are most eager to say “bye bye” to include remote learning, political conversations, and more lighthearted struggles like the great toilet paper shortage.
“It’s important to have fun with it, just because it’s a way to release your feelings in a positive, not too destructive sort of way,” said Midtown resident Sarah Henry.
Others are not sure they can let go of major trauma they experienced.
“The whole Breonna Taylor situation really was difficult for me, re-watching the whole story,” one person said.
“We’ve been very heavy on the West Coast as far as our COVID cases. So just hoping everyone gets the vaccine and we can get past this,” said another.
After shredding their bad memories in Times Square, families came over to a wishing wall, where they wrote their hopes and dreams on pieces on confetti that will be scattered when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.
“With the COVID vaccine, I’m positive we’ll be done,” Jo Bolasky said.
“A lot of people are hoping to start fresh in 2021, so this is a nice way to have something to look forward to,” said Luke Delavega.
If there was ever a year to say good riddance, this is the one.
Good Riddance Day is inspired by a Latin American tradition, in which revelers stuff dolls and objects with bad memories and then set them on fire.
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Christina Fan contributed to this report.