For many, 2021 began with renewed hope as the vaccination campaign ramped up and the city slowly reopened. The surging Delta variant, and later, Omicron, complicated the effort.
Nurse Sandra Lindsay received the first national COVID vaccine at Queens’ Long Island Jewish Medical Center in December 2020. Other city workers, including teachers and food services employees, followed, giving a glimmer of hope as 2021 began.
The general public got access in the spring, leading to a brief early summer reconnection as vaccinated people dined and danced together. But the surging Delta and Omicron variants left the city grappling with a spike in infection as the year drew to a close.
Here are some photos documenting New Yorkers’ resolve in the second year of COVID:
Eligible workers queued up on a frigid January day at the Washington Heights Armory to get their first jabs.
Yvonne Parson struggled in early 2021 to get information on the death of her father, James Hutcherson. Hutcherson, a resident of the New York State Veterans’ Home at St. Albans, passed away in April 2020 after being given an experimental COVID drug cocktail without her consent.
SoHo’s The Hat Shop owner Linda Pagan worked with a coalition to support small businesses trying to stay afloat as the pandemic dragged on.
A worker set out food at the Masbia pantry in Borough Park in February as many still struggled to feed their families.
Holocaust survivor Klara Budnyatsky received her second shot at the Wien House in Upper Manhattan.
Criminal justice reform advocates rallied outside Washington Height’s Edgecombe Correctional Facility, charging detainees weren’t being protected from COVID.
Queens’ Corona was among the neighborhood hit hardest in the pandemic’s early days. Many residents and workers — among them Gabriela Almaraz — were still struggling to make ends meet well into 2021.
A fleet of refrigerated trucks stored the bodies of COVID victims near the Brooklyn waterfront in Sunset Park.
Couple Nunu Jefferson and Ashley Belcher took part in a program that placed homeless people in hotel rooms during the pandemic.
The private entrance to the Wall Street stop on the 2/3 lines was still shuttered even after 24-hour service resumed.
A worker helped build an outdoor eating area along West 32nd Street in Manhattan’s Koreatown.
A couple share a kiss at the Lincoln Center’s Revson Fountain.
Tourists once again flocked to the Metropolitan Museum of Art after the museum reopened in May.
New Yorkers took advantage of reopened indoor dining.
Relatives embraced before a graduation ceremony for seniors at the Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management in the Lower East Side.
PPE was left exposed to the elements outside the New York State Veterans’ Home at St. Albans in Queens.
Joseph Humphrey waited on a bus to be transported from the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side to a congregant shelter on the Bowery in Lower Manhattan after the city started moving homeless people out of hotels.
Sae Feurtado and her husband Richard Kissi took advantage of the Marriage Bureau’s reopening to tie the knot.
Nonnas Adelina Orazzo, center, and Yumi Komatsudaira, right, made fresh mozzarella with vendor Anthony Agostino ahead of Staten Island’s Enoteca Maria’s grand reopening.
Many children returned to in-class learning as city schools reopened in September.
An area around Queens Plaza still showed economic scars from the city’s protracted shutdown.
Deliveristas rallied at City Hall ahead of a City Council vote to improve their working conditions after a year-long movement protesting their treatment during the pandemic.
An Inwood health care worker signed people in on Dyckman Street outside the only COVID testing site north of 181st Street.
Hundreds of FDNY members and other emergency responders packed onto the street outside Gracie Mansion to protest the vaccine mandate for city workers.
New York resident Katie Mejias, foreground, embraced her sister, UK resident Rachel Wager, at JFK Airport after international COVID travel restrictions were lifted.
Workers set up a holiday display at Macy’s 34th Street flagship store.
Tourists and residents enjoyed the Rockefeller Center rink during the holiday season.
Huge “Vax Daddy” Ma, who helped countless New Yorkers get vaccine appointments through his TurboVax site, embraced Communitea owner Kafia Saxe in Long Island City while speaking about his plan to run for State Assembly.
As the holidays approached, New Yorkers were once again faced with long testing lines as the Omicron variant spread through the city, though so far with the high levels of hospitalizations as the pandemic’s early months.
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