After a steady three-month decline, CivicScience data show that the percentage of those reporting they’re ”very concerned” about being in public spaces is starting to increase slightly.

General concern over the Stealth Omicron variant rose a bit this week as well, up three percentage points since mid-March. 

We’re also observing a rise in concern around crime and violence in recent weeks, with those feeling “very concerned” climbing to 33% (up 4 pp since last week).

Those who feel very concerned about being in public spaces are more likely to also feel very concerned about both the stealth variant and about crime in their community (suggesting that both factors may be contributing to the slight rise in concern about being in public spaces observed this week).

Interestingly, trends in concern about crime follow a similar pattern to those of concern over gas prices. When concern over gas prices increases, concern over crime often increases shortly thereafter.

Further highlighting this, those who feel very concerned about gas and energy prices right now are more than 3x as likely to feel very concerned about crime and violence in their community as well.

Consumer Comfort Continues to Improve

Heightened concern about being in public due to new variants or crime isn’t impacting sentiment or behavior right now. In fact, quite the contrary. Comfort resuming normal activities stayed the same or increased this week for all measured areas, with comfort attending major public events reaching a new peak, surpassing levels seen in June 2021 (59%).

We’re also seeing plans to travel in the next month continue to trend upwards.

Plans to order food from a restaurant have also increased this week as more people opt to dine in since last week (up 3 pp).

Want more data on consumer spending and COVID recovery? Learn more about what we do for partners.