Even though the virus is ravaging the country at record highs, and Americans are warned a new variant could only make that worse, people are much less concerned about being in public spaces this week, hitting a low point we haven’t observed since October. People are also less concerned about the looming virus at large (fig. 2). As a result, we’re seeing comfort resuming some normal activities right now increasing—particularly comfort going to public events and shopping in non-grocery stores.

While plans to dine in at a restaurant decreased this week, the increase in those who plan to order takeout or delivery made up for it.

This matches what we’ve seen in specific dining habits, too: Over the last two weeks, we’ve observed a slight increase in the percentage of people eating at home more.

While vaccine opt-in continues to rise, it’s clear that the shifting timeline for inoculating the general population has people tempering their expectations for how much longer they’ll have to follow mitigation efforts like social distancing. The percentage of those who expect it to be six or more months continued to rise this week.

Economic Expectations 

After it decreased last week, more people say it will become easier to find a new job over the next six months.

For the second week straight, optimism fades: more people think the economy will get worse six months from now.

This is driven mostly by Republicans. Democrats on the other hand, likely with the new administration top of mind, are more likely to have a more optimistic view.

With the inauguration this week, and plans for over $1 trillion in economic recovery, plus more on deck to roll out the vaccine, you can be sure CivicScience will be tracking economic and coronavirus sentiment closely.