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No doubt many of us are shocked that 2021 is already coming to an end. Many of us are happy to wave this year goodbye, having another full year of dealing with the covid-19 pandemic. While many may be excited to celebrate the new year with their friends and family, unfortunately, plans for New Years should be approached with caution.
With the Omicron variant being the dominant variant of covid in the US, it is now spreading like wildfire among both the vaccinated and unvaccinated. In fact, New York has seen a spike in cases unlike ever before. Although this mutation of the virus is the most contagious, the saving grace is that it is the least deadly. Many are contracting and spreading the virus without knowing they are sick, so it’s important that the pandemic is still kept in mind when making plans this year.
If you are seeing people outside of your home on New Years’, do what you can to ensure it is covid-safe. Even though those who are vaccinated are getting covid, they still have greater resistance and a lesser chance of spreading it than those who are unvaccinated. So if you are having people over, it would be a good idea to make sure everyone is vaccinated.
Even better would be to get tested before New Years to make sure you and your friends are negative. Because the numbers are higher than ever, it is very difficult to find and schedule a PCR test. However, it may be possible to get a rapid test before New Year’s Eve, by visiting the link here.
Ultimately, if your plans are to go somewhere public like a bar or lounge on New Years, bear in mind that even if the establishment is checking for proof of vaccination, you are taking a risk of getting covid. This is a personal choice you would have to decide for the safety of yourself and your household.
On average, driving accidents rise during the holidays, so it’s crucial to have a safe ride on a night when so many people are out and about. New Years is a holiday that often involves a lot of drinking, so it’s important to ensure ahead of time that driving after a night of drinking is not an option. Don’t assume you’ll be able to hail a cab. Know your options in advance and decide whether you’ll take public transportation, use a ridesharing service, or carpool with your friends.
If you are a designated driver, then it’s extra important to use defensive driving maneuvers while on the road. Even though you are sober, there is a chance other drivers aren’t. Here are some tips if you think you are sharing the road with a drunk driver:
Set a reasonable curfew with your kids for their New Year’s Eve festivities. If they’re old enough to drive, be sure they understand the dangers of driving on the holiday. Encourage them to stay in one location instead of hopping from party to party.
New Year’s Day is the most active holiday for car thefts. If you must leave your car somewhere overnight, be sure it’s locked and try to pick it up as early as possible the next day.
Both guns and fireworks frequently make “celebratory” appearances at New Year’s Eve parties. But it might not be a good idea with the holiday crowds. Even though many people do it, it is illegal to use fireworks in the state of New York. Not only could you get a hefty fine, but if someone else gets injured you are now liable for injuring someone doing something illegal.
Steven Palermo is the managing partner for Palermo Law, Long Island’s Personal Injury Law Firm. He has been helping people receive compensation for their injuries for over 21 years. He focuses on cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents and slip and fall injuries.
His book The Ultimate Guide to Handling New York Car Accident Claims details the ins and outs of a car accident claim in a simple, easy-to-read manner.