COVID-19 & Its Impact on Everyday Life: September 11-14, 2020

 In Business

After positive movement last wave, there were no changes in the perceived trajectory of the pandemic, or in the overall level of concern among the U.S. population.

While pandemic concern has plateaued, parents are beginning to feel the bind of working at home with their children learning virtually. There were a number of concerns voiced by parents when we approached the subject 4 weeks ago, and many of these fears have become reality for the 84% of K-12 parents who have children participating in remote learning.

More than half (53%) of parents with children learning at home have found it very or somewhat difficult. Only 32% are completely or very satisfied with the experience overall.

There have been technology issues on both sides of the computer.  32% of parents have had tech issues at home, while 30% indicate that their child’s teacher or school have experienced issues.  Remote learning is also impacting some employed parents professionally – 23% have been less productive at work and 14% have missed time at work.

America continues to be divided about where the pandemic is headed. A near equal percentage of the country believing the pandemic is getting worse (36% vs. 35% two weeks ago), staying the same (31% vs. 32%) and getting better (33% vs. 33%).

82% of Americans are currently “concerned” about COVID-19, equal to findings from two weeks ago. It has now remained over 80% for six months with a high of 93% in late March/early April.

In terms of consumers’ willingness to return to in-person shopping at specialty retailers or in-person dining, there have been no notable changes in the most recent wave.

Russell Research has interviewed over 20,000 Americans over the past 6 months about their coronavirus concerns and its impact on everyday behavior. Our COVID-19 Monitor will continue to evolve in the coming weeks as the situation changes. The study currently fields every other week with the next wave slated for September 25 – 28, 2020.

Below are our key findings from September 11-14, 2020. Russell Research has tabulated data available for all 20,000+ interviews with several additional questions asked in the survey.  Please email info@russellresearch.com for more information.

Views of the Current Situation

Concern with COVID-19 has held steady over the past month . Between September 11-14, 82% of Americans indicated they are concerned about coronavirus, equal to findings from two weeks earlier.

Americans remain divided on beliefs toward the pandemic trajectory. 36% of Americans currently believe the situation is getting worse, compared to 35% two weeks ago.

There is a near equal percentage of Americans who believe the trajectory is staying the same (31% vs. 32% two weeks ago) and getting better (33% vs. 33% two weeks ago).

Virtual Learning – Month 1

More than one-half of parents indicate remote learning has been difficult and only one in three are completely or very satisfied with the experience thus far.

  • 84% of parents of children in K-12 indicate that their children are currently or will be learning remotely.
  • 53% of parents with remote learning children indicate that it has been somewhat or very difficult 47% who have found it to be somewhat or very easy.
  • Only 32% of parents are completely or very satisfied with the remote learning experience.

Technological issues have been common since the start of school and some parents have reported that virtual learning is impacting their work productivity.

  • 32% of parents indicate they’ve experienced technological issues at home (e.g., internet connectivity, device issues).
  • 30% indicate the teacher or school has experienced technological issues.
  • 20% indicate that the teacher or school has unexpectedly changed the start of school or specific activities.
  • 17% have incurred expenses for the technology required at home.
  • 23% of employed parents with children learning remotely have been less productive at work
  • 14% of employed parents have missed time at work.

Impact on Behavior

Essential Item Destinations

In-store grocery shopping consideration has hit an all-time high.

  • 84% of grocery shoppers intend to shop at a grocery store in the next month (+4 percentage point vs. two weeks ago)
  • 67% of category shoppers intend to shop at a mass merchandiser in the next month (no change)
  • 59% of category shoppers intend to shop at a pharmacy or drug store in the next month (-2)
  • 52% of category shoppers intend to shop at a dollar store in the next month (+1)
  • 46% of category shoppers intend to shop at a warehouse store in the next month (no change)

There has been minimal movement in consideration of in-person dining at all formats.

Food & Drink

  • 48% of category users intend to dine at a fast food restaurant in the next month (+2 vs. two weeks ago)
  • 38% of category users intend to dine at a fast casual restaurant in the next month (-1)
  • 33% of category users intend to dine at a casual dining restaurant in the next month (+1)
  • 32% of category users intend to go to a coffee shop or café in the next month (-2)
  • 23% of category users intend to dine at a fine dining restaurant in the next month (+1)

Intent to shop in-store at specialty retailers also has not changed in the past two weeks.

Clothing & Specialty Retail

  • 46% of category shoppers intend to shop at a home improvement store in the next month (no change vs. two weeks ago)
  • 37% of category shoppers intend to shop at a department store in the next month (+1)
  • 34% of category shoppers intend to shop at a clothing store in the next month (no change)
  • 31% of category shoppers intend to shop at a pet store in the next month (no change)
  • 30% of category shoppers intend to shop at an electronics store in the next month (+1)
  • 27% of category shoppers intend to shop at an auto parts store in the next month (-1)
  • 27% of category shoppers intend to shop at a home goods store in the next month (+3)
  • 26% of category shoppers intend to shop at a sporting goods or outdoors store in the next month (no change)
  • 24% of category shoppers intend to shop at a shoe store in the next month (no change)
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