While COVID-19 cases are falling around the country, it’s too soon to celebrate. New variants loom. Vaccinated Americans are out there, but experts caution that letting our guard down now would be unwise with much (if not most) of the country still in line for their doses. January was the deadliest month for pandemic in the U.S. before the month was even over. Vaccine intent is encouraging, but a high percentage of Americans who are eligible for the vaccine have not been able to receive it yet. 

However, as more people begin to get vaccinated and cases continue to decline, CivicScience data show that Americans are letting their guard down in their perception of the virus. Concern about being in public spaces right now decreased slightly since last week.

Moreover, roughly 2 in 5 adults still expect to have to practice social distancing and self-isolation for six or more months, a figure that decreased week over week.

Really, people are just getting so sick of this, which could be driving comfort levels.

Namely, people are really amped to get back to normal life, especially traveling and dining out, continued from the uptick we saw last week. We expect to see a huge surge in travel and restaurant dining at some point this year, likely the second half, but new data show it may be even sooner, or at least a resurgence is already underway.

People who say they’re comfortable traveling now continued to rise this week.

Just under one-third of adults have plans to travel in the next month, which is consistent with what we saw last week.

Man (and Young Folks) With the Plan

Men are more likely than women to have any travel plans in the next month.

Young adults are more likely to have plans to travel in the next month as well.

Those who have had their pay negatively impacted a result of the pandemic are the least likely to have travel plans in the next month. Conversely, those who are not working but still getting paid (which is quite a small portion of the population) are much more likely to have travel plans booked.

Dining Out Is It

Comfort going out to eat right now increased significantly this week (jumping from 38% to 46%) to a high figure we haven’t seen since the fall.

However, and unfortunately for dining establishments, actual plans to dine in at a restaurant in the next week remain consistent with what we saw last week. Recent gains in this area are still very encouraging, especially with nearly half of all U.S. adults reporting they’re comfortable dining out now.

Everything is in flux, including U.S. consumer’s shifting habits. Things will eventually get back to some sort of normal and businesses will see increasing foot traffic come in droves, but  at this point, it’s just a matter of when.