Young woman with a mask on her face in a cozy beige sweater on a blurred background with bokeh. The concept of winter holidays during the coronavirus.

A Different Christmas? Czechs Concerned About Covid-19 Over the Holiday Season

A different kind of Christmas is approaching this year, and most Czechs are concerned about a greater risk of Covid-19 infection during the holiday season, according to a new survey. Any plans for the holidays are still uncertain as the epidemiological situation remains unclear and the extent of future restrictions is yet to be decided. Photo credit: Freepik / Stock photo. 

Czech Rep., Nov 29 (BD) – “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”, but this will without a doubt be a rather different one. According to a survey by IPSOS, up to half of the population believes that there is a greater risk of infection during the holiday season.

When it comes to public attitudes to the anti-epidemic measures currently in place, a third of Czechs are more anxious over health concerns than ending the current limitations on social and economic life. Moreover, approximately one in five Czechs associate the risk of the spread of Covid-19 with family visits, recognising greater danger in the holiday season.

Reluctance, frustration, but mostly resignation, are the most common feelings towards the restrictions on traditional Christmas markets, carolling, midnight Christmas masses and New Year celebrations – staples of the festive season. The same feelings accompany the restrictions on reunions and visits with family and friends.

As the extent of the restrictions that will apply during the holiday period is not yet clear, many are still unsure about how their holidays will look. Even while concerned over the health risks, more than a quarter of those interviewed (27.8%) stated that they would not reduce their social contacts in any way. While 31.2% say they will limit their social contacts to immediate family and friends, only a quarter (24.1%) of the Czech population plan significant restrictions on meetings – they will meet exclusively with selected relatives. Only 3.6% of Czechs will give up all physical visits and celebrate the holidays exclusively online.

What about Christmas presents? Alongside the traditional socks, masks and respirators will also be found under the Christmas tree. According to the survey, gifts this year will also include multivitamins, teas to reinvigorate the immune system and even disinfectant products and cosmetics.  

When asked about what they would miss most in this strange holiday season, younger participants reported being more saddened by the loss of the traditional markets, New Year celebrations and meetings with colleagues and friends, while older participants, especially those residing in smaller villages, were more concerned about missing spiritual events like the midnight mass. Inhabitants of Prague were the most reluctant to miss the typical partying of the holidays, but also the most sensitive to not being able to reunite with family over Christmas.

A different Christmas is certainly on the horizon, and New Year celebrations will definitely not be the same, but as the epidemiological situation remains uncertain, only time will tell how limited our celebrations will be this year.

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