Insticator Insights: 50% of Readers Plan on Seeing Family and Friends after Self-Quarantine Ends

June 2020

With cities and states across the nation entering the first phases of reopening post-pandemic, many Americans are ready to return to work, stores, restaurants, parks, and beaches. But many also feel a sense of trepidation and worry that life may not be as it was before the pandemic overtook our nation.

For our fifth week of COVID-19 poll insights, we utilized our poll unit across a variety of news sites with U.S. audiences to discover how readers envision what life may look like after the peak of the pandemic has passed. With over 5,000 responses submitted, readers expressed their predictions for a post-coronavirus world.

With states easing up restrictions, readers are eager to see their family and friends:

Exactly half of respondents (50 percent) can’t wait to see friends and family after self-quarantine restrictions are lifted. Over 35 million Americans live alone, and many had to cope with severe loneliness during months of isolation, making in-person contact with family and friends all the more invaluable.

As stores slowly reopen across the nation, 12 percent of respondents are eager to shop for non-essentials. More and more retailers are offering curbside pickup as another way to keep customers safe, in addition to social distancing markers and capacity limits.

11 percent of respondents say the first thing they’ll do is get physical activity, while 27 percent have other things in mind, whether it’s dining at a restaurant or hitting the beach.

Readers are hesitant to travel and attend live events:

Half of respondents (50 percent) say they don’t plan on traveling once restrictions are lifted, while a more optimistic 25 percent of respondents plan on vacationing. 20 percent plan on visiting family members, while only 5 percent will travel for work. Experts say there are many variables to consider when gauging how safe it is to travel, whether it’s for work or for pleasure.

When it comes to large events such as basketball games and concerts, a whopping 60 percent of respondents will be more hesitant to attend in the future, while only 26 percent responded no. Public health professionals are similarly reluctant to crowd surf and cheer on the Knicks; in a recent New York Times article, a vast majority of epidemiologists say they’ll feel comfortable attending large events such as concerts and plays over a year from now. Events are responding in like, with the U.S. Open Tournament recently announcing it will be held without fans in attendance.

But some leaders in the live events industry are optimistic, with one stating that live events will “come back, and they’re going to come back in a big way.” Ali Rubenstein says, “We’re not going to let things like wearing masks or having to stand six feet apart for a while and be appropriately socially distanced stop the craving to get back out and experience live events, human interaction, exhibitions, entertainment, all of those things.”

Readers believe we won’t have a vaccine or a fully-recovered economy by the end of 2020:

Though drugmakers around the globe are racing to create a coronavirus vaccine, over half of respondents (59 percent) don’t believe we’ll have one before the end of 2020. It typically takes a decade to develop a vaccine, but given the extreme urgency, drugmakers are shortening trials and expediting the process.

72 percent of respondents don’t think America’s economy will be able to recover by the end of 2020. Though the market has rebounded slightly from the crash of March 2020, the stock market is once again tumbling as investors fear another surge of cases.

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