COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are reaching record highs. Within the past week alone, the U.S. has seen an alarmingly high average of over 150,000 new cases per day – up 81% from two weeks prior. Chicago reinstated a lockdown order and New York City is tightening restrictions. Naturally, concern about being in public spaces increased again this week. 

Fifty-percent of U.S. Adults say they’re somewhat concerned about being in public spaces right now while 34% have more severe concerns.   

Another reaction to the recent spike in cases (and promising news from Pfizer and Moderna about positive clinical vaccine test results) is that an increasing percentage of people say they’d get a vaccine right away if or when it becomes available.   

Holiday Shopping and  Travel Trends 

As it stands this week, comfort with traveling and shopping in stores are both on the decline. Only 54% of adults report that they’re comfortable shopping in stores now – down from 60% in mid-October. It’s no surprise that e-commerce is skyrocketing this season but the impact of less foot traffic in stores is something to watch. 

In fact, for the second week in a row, an increasing percentage of adults are reporting that they’re shopping online more than they typically would this time of year (perhaps beginning early holiday shopping). This reported number is the highest CivicScience has observed to date since the beginning of the pandemic in the U.S.

On another holiday-related note: Comfort traveling and vacationing has reached the lowest point CivicScience has observed since the end of August.

Fewer Americans are planning to travel soon compared to recent weeks – despite the fact that Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away.

Somewhat surprisingly, comfort attending major public events actually increased since last week.

However, overall comfort levels remain low in comparison to other activities. And – this is largely driven by the 18- to 29-year-old age group who is twice as likely as any other age bracket to say they’d be comfortable attending a major public event right now.

Something that could change this? Ticketmaster’s new idea to require vaccinations or negative COVID-19 tests prior to purchasing a ticket for a live event. Among those who say they attend live events, just under one quarter said this type of policy would make them MORE likely to go to a show or concert. 

Post-election Economic and Job Sentiment  

As it stands right now, just over one-fifth of working adults in the U.S. report being paid less or not at all as a direct result of the pandemic.

Concern about job status at large has only slightly wavered over the past few weeks but still, two in five adults express at least some concern about their current employment situation.

Despite the tenuous U.S. election, for the most part, economic sentiment hasn’t changed. The only significant change observed was that an increasing percentage of adults think the U.S. economy will get better six months from now, reaching the highest point we’ve seen since June (44%).

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