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‘Build back better’: World leaders, celebrities say goodbye to 2020 on New Year’s Eve

Click to play video 'World rings in 2021 with subdued celebrations' World rings in 2021 with subdued celebrations
WATCH ABOVE: World rings in 2021 with subdued celebrations – Dec 31, 2020

As countries around the world begin to close the chapter on 2020, thousands have taken to social media to say goodbye to a year fraught with loss, fear and violence.

From a racial justice reckoning stemming from the death of George Floyd which saw demonstrations grip communities around the world to wildfires that ravaged Australia and California, the last year saw a tumultous turn of events offset even further by the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic that plummeted the global economy and killed over 1.8 million people so far.

Read more: A New Year’s Eve to forget: Countries bid farewell to pandemic-plagued 2020

With global celebrations muted due to pandemic restrictions limiting crowds, people instead flocked online to say goodbye and reflect on the past while others remained hopeful for a brighter new year.

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“This year has been challenging for many of us. We have experienced a global pandemic that has threatened our health, our economy, and our very way of life. We have seen acts of senseless violence that have devastating impacts on our communities. And, we have heard heartbreaking stories and calls for justice from racialized Canadians and Indigenous peoples, demanding that we act now to address racism, discrimination, and injustices in our country,” read a statement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“The challenges we have faced this year have shown how important it is to build back better. As we recover from this crisis, we must take every opportunity to make our country stronger, more sustainable, and more just for everyone.”

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Click to play video 'New Year’s 2021: Times Square ball drop in NYC marks New Year' New Year’s 2021: Times Square ball drop in NYC marks New Year
New Year’s 2021: Times Square ball drop in NYC marks New Year – Jan 1, 2021

In an address posted to Twitter, President-elect Biden bid the U.S. to look forward to 2021 despite having experienced one of the most difficult years as a nation.

“I’m absolutely, positively confident —  confident — we’re going to come back and we’re going to come back even stronger than before,” said Biden, who is scheduled to take office Jan. 20.

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In an address posted earlier Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump listed his accomplishments from when he took office four years ago.

“We have to be remembered for what’s been done,” said Trump, who still maintains false allegations of voter fraud during the November presidential election.

In his address, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he “could only imagine how many people who will be only too happy to say goodbye to the grimness of 2020.”

“But just before we do, I want to remind you that this was also the year when we rediscovered a spirit of togetherness, of community,” said Johnson, who then thanked frontline health care workers afterwards.

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World leaders weren’t the only ones to help usher in the new year online as some celebrities also took to social media to voice their goodbyes to the year.

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“R.I.P. 2020,” wrote actor Halle Berry alongside a post from movie Boomerang.

“Theme song going into 2021,” wrote Josh Gad alongside a screenshot of the song Things Can Only Get Better by Howard Jones.

“2021 is going to be like the math professor who took over for Ted Kaczynski,” wrote late night talk show host Conan O’Brien.

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“bye 2020, it’s been weird,” wrote singer Taylor Swift, who posted a picture of herself in a bear costume.

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“What we learned in 2020? This country can’t efficiently deliver Food, Cash or Care to those who need it,” wrote American entrepreneur Mark Cuban.

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