|Look, we get it. People are sick of life interrupted. Almost three-quarters (74%) of Americans miss gathering with friends and family, and (70%) miss dining in bars and restaurants. And this is true especially of young people. |
1. Americans are growing more wary of gatherings. Over the past weekend, (82%) of Americans are fearful of leaving the house (up 5 pts from July 19), while (69%) are not willing to attend a large public event given the current outbreak of COVID-19.
2. Anything big and indoors is verboten: (58%) say they won’t go to the movies for at least another six months, the same as sporting events (49%), gyms (59%), hotels (55%), public transportation (54%), and airplanes (46%). And (13%) say there are no actions that will make them comfortable to do certain activities, so it’s a lot of Netflix.
3. Older Americans are taking the pandemic more seriously: Adults 65+ (83%) think the amount of fear is sensible given how serious the pandemic has become vs (73%) of the nation or (68%) of Gen Z and Millennials.
4. And seniors are more fearful of the virus spreading when we return to normal public activity: (80%) of 65+ are very/somewhat concerned about possible COVID-19 exposure when returning to normal activity vs (68%) Gen Z/Millennials.
5. But younger people are nearly twice as likely to say people are overreacting: (32%) of 18-34 year olds say the amount of fear around COVID-19 is irrational and people are overreacting vs only (17%) of adults 65+.
6. Alas, a nation gets COVID-woke: Less than four weeks ago, under one-third (31%) of Americans said the resurgence of cases was driven by people in their state who lack concern for the pandemic and (29%) said there was no incentive for people to follow state recommended safety protocols as they were not enforced requirements.
7. But now, (84%) of Americans support social distancing and wearing face masks. And mask wearing rose (14 pts) from March 28 to June 15 (54% to 68%) which was attributed to those who were indifferent to masks: (33% said ‘neither positive or negative’ on March 28, which has decreased to 19% on June 15).
8. But the generational blame game is starting in earnest: Older people blaming younger people: On May 17th we found that more than three quarters of adults 50+ (77%) said younger Americans are being ignorant by thinking they are less likely to spread COVID-19 than others and (72%) say they are acting reckless and putting the rest of the nation’s health at risk. At the same time, more than half of younger Americans ages 18-49 (56%) say the over-fifties crowd are stubbornly sticking to their routines even though they are more at risk.
Takeaway: This slow pulling off of the nation’s band-aid is having devastating health and economic consequences. The lack of a Federal plan for battling COVID is obvious, but also is a growing clamor for the nation’s young people to live up to their purported ‘we’ values of climate change, universal income, and gender/racial equality. Why isn’t COVID equality one of these generational values, Boomers and seniors ask?