New Year comes to COVID ward, with hope for end to nightmare

  • Medical personnel attend patients at Casalpalocco Covid 3 hospital in the outskirts of Rome, during the new year night, Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. At the Casalpalocco Covid 3 Hospital doctors and nurses barely seemed to register the new year as they tended to 100 patients struggling with serious to critical illness as a result of coronavirus infections. (AP Photo/Andrea Rosa)

ROME — While the world said goodbye — or good riddance — to 2020, a year in which the pandemic brought hardship and pain to billions, some of those who have been fighting the virus on the front lines soldiered on even as the clock passed midnight.