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Christmas in a pandemic: Most Canadians plan to stay closer to home, poll suggests

Hanging up stockings and Christmas lights remains popular, however

More Canadians than usual will be celebrating at home this holiday season, a poll released Monday (Dec. 7) by the Angus Reid Institute suggests.

Results suggest that just 30 per cent of people will be visiting friends and family locally, compared to 81 per cent in pre-pandemic times. With non-essential travel discouraged as case counts stay high, only 10 per cent of people said they planned on visiting friends or family in another community or province, compared to 51 per cent last year. The number of people hosting family dinners has also dropped from 88 to 58 per cent.

However, some traditions will continue; 68 per cent of people plan on putting up Christmas lights compared to 73 per cent last year, while the number of people who will hang stockings at home dropped six points to 51 per cent.

Heading into the holiday season, 25 per cent of people are very concerned about catching COVID-19 themselves, while 41 per cent are very worried that their friends or family will get the virus. Pollsters found that 45 per cent of people thought COVID-19 would be “serious but manageable” for them, 30 per cent worried it would be “very severe” and require hospitalization and 13 per cent believed it would be “possibly deadly.”

The poll found that most people had shrank their social circles over the past few months. Between Aug. 5-8, when COVID cases were low, only eight per cent of people were not seeing people outside of their household, and 16 per cent were seeing just one to two people. From Nov. 24-30, 29 per cent said they hadn’t socialized outside of their immediate household and 33 per cent said they only saw one to two other people.

READ MORE: ‘Sense of desperation’: Christmas bureaus anticipating spike in need this year

READ MORE: Canada to get 249,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine in December, Trudeau says


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