COVID-19 restrictions transform the practice of holiday shopping


Shoppers roam around Coral Square Mall looking for holiday gifts. Photo by Sasha Lechtenstein

Erika Ryan, Writer

With the holiday season coming up, starting to purchase gifts for loved ones are on most individuals’ priority list. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic in full force, shopping for family and friends will look different than past years. 

In order to stay safe while shopping in public such as in malls, department stores and other retail sites, consumers can take various precautions to protect themselves and others. Such precautions include using products such as hand sanitizers, face masks and gloves to keep yourself and other individuals safe during this holiday season. 

“For this holiday season I’ve been going to the mall for most of my shopping,” Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School  junior Julia Danois said. “I always take precautions by wearing a mask and using hand sanitizers religiously.”

Being socially distant from others in public is also a main priority to be safe this season. However, keeping six feet from others has proved to be a challenge for some while going out.

“While going out shopping I find it getting harder and harder to keep my distance,” sophomore Mya Ryan said. “People tend to go against the walking traffic where the arrows direct you to go, sometimes causing me to be closer to people than I attend to be.”

Some students who work at the mall have also been taking precautions for COVID-19 in order  to go back home safe to their families. 

“I work at Pacsun in Coral Square Mall and it being such a popular store for people my age we get a lot of customers,” junior Isabella Cristancho said. “My coworkers and I always take precaution while assisting customers and follow the usual safety rules by wearing masks, sanitizing and distancing ourselves.” 

Another option for getting gifts for the holidays is through online shopping. Many stores have online sites where products can be ordered to your house or to the house of the gift recipient. Online shopping helps to cut down on human contact and stay socially distant. 

“To be safe my family and I choose to do online shopping this year,” Senior Madeline Dwyer said. “It’s much safer and I’m in the confines of my own home.”

Having online shopping as an alternative this year has helped many stay safe and comfortable in their own homes, avoiding having to deal with the stress of the virus while being at home.

Holiday shopping this year has changed completely from last. With a pandemic now affecting the way we go out in public, taking extra precautions when finding gifts for our loved ones has been normalized for this holiday season.