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COVID-19 won’t cancel the holiday season this year

COVID-19 won’t cancel the holiday season this year

According to a new survey, 1 in 4 North Americans do not plan to host a holiday celebration this year; however, 1 in 5 plan on attending at least two in-person celebrations this holiday season (including New Year’s eve celebrations).

Plans halted for religious or secular celebrations

The COVID-19 pandemic had a strong impact on plans for attending religious or secular public celebrations with only 47% still planning on attending this year, compared to 66% last year.


According to survey results:

  • 35% plan on attending 1 to 2 in-person holiday celebrations this year (including New Year’s Eve);
  • 33% plan on attending 3+ events;
  • 20% have no plans to attend in-person celebrations.

How to stay safe this holiday season

According to CDC, big year-end holiday celebrations are “high-risk activities.” To help, here are 4 tips that can keep everyone safe this holiday season:

Tip #1: Wear a mask

Research by the University of California reveals that hundreds of tiny droplets are dispersed into the air when someone utters a simple phrase. Wear a damp washcloth as a barrier over the mouth and nearly all of the droplets are blocked.

According to the survey 34% of hosts will ask guests to wear a mask.

Tip #2: Scrub like a surgeon 

Turns out we can cut the spread of respiratory infections by more than 20% if we all wash our hands regularly. Good handwashing means using soap and washing for at least 30 seconds including between fingers and halfway up the arm.

According to survey results, 38% of hosts plan on providing hand sanitizer (or gloves) to all attendees.

Tip #3: Maximize space

Another good strategy is to set up holiday celebrations to maximize space and minimize contact. For instance:

  • 27% plan on setting up a dining area in a larger room, such as a rec-room, in order to provide guests more space;
  • 17% plan on staggering eating times;
  • 18% plan on setting up a heated outdoor space where people can gather;
  • 9% opted to complete a minor renovation in their home in order to create a larger gathering space.

Remember: CDC guidelines recommend staying at least six feet apart from other people.

Tip #4: Embrace technology

While there are several precautions you can take in your home, the safest way to celebrate the holidays this year is remotely. Schedule regular video chats with absent relatives and friends.

Make the most of your video calls by choosing video calling platforms that all family members are comfortable and familiar with, such as FaceTime for Apple users, Duo for Android users, or go with a universal product like Zoom.

Remember to have fun together. If you send gifts in advance you can arrange to open them live on camera and you can play games together online.

The safety of the people we love is, of course, everyone’s priority this holiday season. With a few sensible COVID-19 precautions, you and your family can say goodbye to 2020, safely.

Survey methodology

Data was collected online through SurveyMonkey between Dec 2 to 3, 2020.

The 1,021 respondents answered 7 self-report questions regarding plans for the 2020 holiday season. 

The estimated margin of error is +/- 3.00 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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