More than half of the United States is currently living under statewide stay-at-home orders less than one week before one of Christianity’s biggest celebrations, The Wall Street Journal reports.
A new WalletHub survey of more than 400 people across the nation gives a window into what many Americans are doing to commemorate Easter Sunday this year.
Where they’ll celebrate
Last year, only 25% of Americans celebrated Easter in their homes. This year, 70% of Americans plan to celebrate the holiday strictly at home, the survey found.
But despite concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, 56% of those surveyed who said they went to a religious service for Easter said they would go again if those services are held in their communities.
WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzales found this result particularly concerning.
“Fortunately, others are adapting to the circumstances more reasonably,” Gonzales told the Deseret News. “Most people who celebrate Easter will end up staying at home, recognizing that limiting close contact will help flatten the curve and minimize the spread of COVID-19. It’s just the highly social minority we need to worry about,”
While many areas have banned gatherings of more than 10 people, including religious worship, many states, including Ohio and Pennsylvania, have exempted religious organizations from forced closures, The New York Times reports.
Some churches and pastors in the United States are ignoring stay-at-home orders, too, the Guardian reports.
Gonzales shared with the Deseret News that 27% of Americans plan on donating a part of their government coronavirus stimulus check to a religious organization, and 66% of church-going Americans surveyed said they planned to give the same amount they gave last year in Easter church donations.
The industry that will truly suffer, WalletHub predicts, is the candy industry, as nearly half of those surveyed said they plan to skip out on the material Easter traditions.
How to avoid stress
Despite the stress COVID-19 has caused — 68% of Americans are saying it’s their biggest worry, according to WalletHub — many have been able to find a silver lining.
The survey found 40% of respondents said the pandemic has made them feel more grateful for their families, 29% said it had made them more grateful for their health and 14% said it had made them more grateful for their freedom.
While plans have been forced to change, the survey found that many people are trying to celebrate the holiday while still maintaining proper social distancing by participating in phone or video calls to family and friends, watching church services remotely and even going on indoor Easter egg hunts.