LEHI, Utah (ABC4 News) – Under normal circumstances, Easter Sunday serves as a holiday where Utahns and millions around the country attend church services, large family gatherings and perhaps an Easter egg hunt at some point during the holiday weekend.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing observers to go about a “socially distanced” way of participating in Easter activities due to over half of the country is ordered to stay at home. These stay-at-home orders are not only affecting families and kids who normally look forward to a visit from the Easter Bunny, the economy will feel the pinch as well.
According to a recent study done by website WalletHub, roughly 68% of Americans who observe the Easter holiday say coronavirus will affect their Easter spending this year. The Sunday morning of Easter in some families, kids wake up to baskets of candy, and new outfits. In contrast to prior years, over half of Easter observers will not purchase said items.
While an unhealthy economy during a crisis certainly isn’t anything to take lightly, families having to cancel plans and explaining to children what’s happening in the world may not be the easiest task.
One Utah community wanted to make sure families and children still had some sort of normal. Melanie Hansen, event coordinator for Lehi City organized a “socially distanced” Easter egg hunt that was held on Saturday. City officials from the city of Lehi went through neighborhoods dropping of easter eggs for children and families in the Utah County community.
Normally the city holds a traditional hunt for children in the community to attend. Hansen told ABC4.com, “These community events are so important and families and they look forward to them each year, so to lose that is hard for people’s mental health, and for some kids it’s hard to understand why a special event gets canceled when they’re so young.”
Hansen also said she and her team made sure to follow all Centers for Disease Control safety and sanitary guidelines. It’s a reality that we all need to follow social distancing guidelines, Hansen said
“An email was sent out to homes assuring them the event would be safe for kids and parents, everyone would maintain the recommended 6 feet distance, and for those families with any concerns the Easter eggs could be left on their porch,” said Hansen.
Sunday church fellowship more than likely won’t happen this year outside of computer or laptop, but those who worship prefer not to stay home. The WalletHub study also found 56% of Americans who went to church on Easter Sunday last year say they will go to church for the Easter this year, if it’s open.
But even with the lack of Easter activities in public, spending down, and no actual in church service, this pandemic has made many Americans cherish family a lot more. The WalletHub study found the coronavirus has made 40% of Americans most grateful for their family, and 30% grateful for health.
Lindsey Larsen, a student at the University of Utah and Miss Lehi, also participated in the Easter egg event. Larsen said, “The crisis has even brought her closer to her family and made them stronger, when this pandemic is over I think the sense of family unity will play a huge role in unifying our communities.”
It is possible that once this pandemic comes to an end, our communities and family structure may be much stronger.
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