Woman in stress about Christmas holidays

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New survey shows 70% of respondents expect this winter to be their “most challenging” ever.

Three in four fear coronavirus cases will see yet another surge before year’s end.

NEW YORK — 2020 has been a rough year for just about everyone. With two months still to go, more Americans say they’re preparing for the worst rather than prepping for the holidays. A poll of 2,000 people across the United States finds a resurgence of COVID-19 is a top fear among most this winter.

The OnePoll survey reveals that seven in 10 Americans think this may be their most challenging winter ever. Over half (52%) say the coronavirus pandemic is the main cause of their anxieties during quarantine. A third of respondents add that the 2020 presidential election is also stressing them out. Job insecurity, problems with remote learning, and issues with working from home all made the list of 2020 stressors.

The poll, commissioned by HomeServe, adds a majority of the country is fearful of more COVID restrictions before the year ends. Three in four Americans are worried coronavirus cases will surge again this winter. Another seven in 10 fear their state will impose another shelter-in-place order.

All this is leading to 67 percent saying they’re concerned the pandemic will spoil their holiday cheer.

COVID-19 has families stocking up for a rough winter

Usually around this time, Americans are making out their Black Friday shopping lists. This year, the poll finds many respondents are stocking up on home goods for a possible holiday season in quarantine.

Nearly half (45%) are loading up on face masks and protective coverings. Almost the same amount say they’re buying extra toilet paper, towels, and tissues to ride out the winter indoors. Just under four in 10 Americans are also using the fall to restock their pantries with canned goods and their medicine cabinets with vitamins and medications.

Some respondents are even buying fresh supplies of batteries, candles, and flashlights in case of power outages. Another 23 percent are focusing on more comfortable items, such as new blankets and fuzzy socks.

Home improvement ahead of the holidays

Before the weather turns bad, the poll finds a majority of Americans are also fixing up their homes while they have this extra time stuck inside. Sixty-three percent say they’ve used their time in lockdown to complete projects around their house before winter arrives.

The most popular items on the to-do list is replacing batteries in smoke detectors (39%), plugging up drafty doors and windows (32%), and clearing out blockages in air vents (30%).

“While the survey shows that many Americans have made good use of their time while in quarantine to complete home improvement projects, all too often, the routine maintenance items like checking your home’s major systems and winterizing your home can slip through the cracks,” Tom Rusin, Global CEO of HomeServe Membership, says in a statement.

“These important tasks can have just as much of an impact on your home’s livability as the more obvious home upgrades. While it’s a lot of fun to redecorate a room in your house, you’re not going to get nearly as much joy out of it if, for example, your home’s heating system isn’t working properly come wintertime.”

For homeowners in 2020, even house repair has been affected by COVID-19. Half the poll admit they won’t be able to afford fixing their home heating system if it breaks this winter.

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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