COVID-19 & Its Impact on Everyday Life: December 4-7, 2020

 In Business

The rising number of cases across the U.S. is reflected in the latest wave of the Russell COVID-19 Monitor.

The number of  Americans who believe the pandemic trajectory is getting worse jumped to 63%, compared to 55% one month ago and 43% in October. This percentage has been continuously climbing for five consecutive waves. And concern remains near universal, with 86% of Americans concerned about COVID-19, compared to 85% one month ago.

This continual trend in the wrong direction is again accelerating the drive to online shopping, but this time for the holidays. There have been significant declines in Americans reporting they will consider shopping in-person next month at a variety of retail formats, including clothing stores, electronics stores, and home goods stores.

The spike in cases is also keeping people away from dining out. There were sharp decreases this wave in for in-person dining consideration at fast casual, casual dining and fine dining restaurants, along with coffee shops/cafés.

Travel is still happening, but perhaps not to the extent we saw in November.  43% of Americans plan to spend the holidays with people outside of their household.  In comparison, 52% had planned to spend Thanksgiving with non-household members.

Finally, with one vaccine recently being approved, and a second apparently on the way, we took a look at consideration of receiving the vaccine when available.  We have found a significant decrease since July in vaccine consideration. Only 64% of Americans indicate they are very or somewhat likely to receive the vaccine when made available to them versus 73% in late July.

Russell Research has interviewed more than 24,000 Americans over the past 9 months about their coronavirus concerns and its impact on everyday behavior. Our COVID-19 Monitor will continue to evolve in the coming waves as the situation changes.  The next wave is slated for January 8 – 11, 2021.

Below are our key findings from December 4-7, 2020. Russell Research has tabulated data available for all 24,000+ interviews with several additional questions asked in the survey.  Please email info@russellresearch.com for more information.

Views of the Current Situation

Concern about COVID-19 continues to increase. Between December 4-7, 86% of Americans indicated they are concerned about coronavirus, which has consistently trended upwards from the 82% indicated in September.

Similarly, 55% of Americans are currently very concerned, the highest level recorded since mid-April, and up from 52% in November.

Americans haven’t viewed the pandemic trajectory this negatively since early April. 63% of Americans currently believe that the situation is getting worse, up significantly from 55% in November and 43% in October. This negative perception has not been this high since the weekend of April 3-6 (74%).

Fewer than one in five Americans now believe the pandemic is getting better (18% vs. 26% in November and 33% in October).

Attention towards the pandemic is on the rise. More than one-third of Americans (36%) indicate that they’re paying more attention to the pandemic compared to one month ago, up from 31% in November. Only 9% are paying less attention (vs. 14% in November).

COVID-19 Vaccinations

There has been a decrease in the percentage of Americans willing to get the vaccine.

  • 64% of Americans indicate they are very or somewhat likely to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This is a 9-point decrease from the end of July (73%) — the last time this question was asked. This decrease was present across all demographic and regional segments of the population.

Holiday Travel

More than two in five Americans will spend Christmas with people outside their household.

  • 43% of Americans indicate they plan to spend Christmas with other family members and/or friends who do not currently live in their home.
  • 17% of Americans plan to travel more than 25 miles from their home for Christmas.

Impact on Behavior

There has been a minor decline for in-person shopping consideration at essential item destinations.

Essential Item Destinations

  • 79% of grocery shoppers intend to shop at a grocery store in the next month (-5 percentage points vs. one month ago)
  • 67% of category shoppers intend to shop at a mass merchandiser in the next month (-1)
  • 57% of category shoppers intend to shop at a pharmacy or drug store in the next month (-5)
  • 55% of category shoppers intend to shop at a dollar store in the next month (+1)
  • 50% of category shoppers intend to shop at a convenience store in the next month (-3)
  • 43% of category shoppers intend to shop at a warehouse store in the next month (-3)

Consumers are significantly less open to visiting restaurants that primarily focus on dining in.

Food & Drink

  • 47% of category users intend to dine at a fast food restaurant in the next month (-3 vs. one month ago)
  • 34% of category users intend to dine at a fast casual restaurant in the next month (-6)
  • 31% of category users intend to go to a coffee shop or café in the next month (-7)
  • 28% of category users intend to dine at a casual dining restaurant in the next month (-7)
  • 21% of category users intend to dine at a fine dining restaurant in the next month (-7)

It appears December holiday traffic will be lower than usual, with significant declines in planned visitation to many brick & mortar retail formats popular for gift shopping.

Clothing & Specialty Retail

  • 45% of category shoppers intend to shop at a home improvement store in the next month (-3 vs. one month ago)
  • 36% of category shoppers intend to shop at a department store in the next month (-5)
  • 35% of category shoppers intend to shop at a clothing store in the next month (-9)
  • 30% of category shoppers intend to shop at a pet store in the next month (-7)
  • 30% of category shoppers intend to shop at an electronics store in the next month (-7)
  • 27% of category shoppers intend to shop at an auto parts store in the next month (-3)
  • 27% of category shoppers intend to shop at a shoe store in the next month (-1)
  • 26% of category shoppers intend to shop at a sporting goods or outdoors store in the next month (-4)
  • 22% of category shoppers intend to shop at a home goods store in the next month (-10)
Recent Posts