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For One-Third of Americans, Hope Springs Eternal As They Deal With COVID-19

July 22, 2020 / Len Stein

14% See Normal Routines Returning in a Month, 18% Await a Vaccine

NEW YORK, NY July 21, 2020 – While some states continue “opening up” and with some states closing, opening, then closing again, and with some states just hoping the coronavirus will go away, over two-thirds of Americans (68%) presume returning to pre-COVID-19 activities are three months to more than one year away, according to the 7th wave of the “Consumer Coronavirus Behavior Survey.”

How Long Before A Return To Normalcy?

The objective of research conducted by TheCustomer (www.thecustomer.net), Brand Keys (www.brandkeys.com) and Suzy (www.suzy.com) an on-demand software platform, was to determine how long respondents felt it would be until it was OK to return to normal, pre-COVID-19 lifestyle behaviors. The survey examined 21 activities including using municipal transport, staying in a hotel room, attending classes in person, going to a gym, eating at a restaurant (outside and inside), visiting relatives, partying, and voting in person.

A Month Versus A Vaccine

“Average time estimates for returning to activities in a month (14%) were very close to those who expect to have to wait of a vaccine (18%),” noted Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys, Inc., the New York-based brand loyalty and customer engagement consultancy. “Expectations, of course, change depending upon the activity, but generally speaking, the distribution of consumers who believe normalcy will return in two to 11 months is pretty even, no matter the timeframe. The only exception was the time period ‘more than a year.’” Average consumer estimates tended to be optimistically lower at nine percent for waiting a year to resume most normal activities.

Normalcy Now? Not So Much!

“All consumers are anxious to return to their pre-CPVID-19 lifestyles,” noted Mike Giambattista, publisher of TheCustomer, the weekly newsletter covering intelligence from the customer insight universe. “Some have already begun to do so, but at significantly lower numbers than consumers who feel it’s going to be necessary to wait a little – and in some cases a lot – longer.”

Top activities consumers indicated they are already doing were:

• Visiting relatives (9%)

• Getting a haircut (8%)

• Having people over (6%)

• Going to a Department Store (6%)

• Having people over (6%)

Top activities consumers expected to be OK to return to in the next month included:

• Going to the mall (26%)

• Getting a haircut (22%)

• Visiting relatives (22%)

• Going to a Department Store (20%)

• Eating outside at a restaurant (20%)

Activities consumers are putting off until there’s a vaccine included:

• No longer wearing a mask (26%)
• Traveling in an airplane (21%)
• Using a subway (21%)
• Using a municipal bus (20%)
• Going to a bar (20%)

“The differences and similarities in wait-time between what people are currently doing, albeit in smaller numbers, and what they feel they’ll have to wait for anyplace up to a year, is interesting,” noted Giambattista. “It provides a real insights into the things people miss most and yearn for most.”

Should Schools Open In The Fall?

“While President Donald Trump’s demand that U.S. schools fully reopen this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic may seem to some like a re-election strategy, at the end of the day, parents want families to be safe,” said Passikoff.

And whether the question is can we or should we reopen schools, the survey found that 18 percent of the sample felt attending school in person should wait until there’s a vaccine. Twenty-three percent (23%), on the other hand, felt attending classes in person would be OK in the next one to three months. Others felt three to six months (19%) and six months to one year (20%) would be necessary.


The survey and analysis were conducted the week of July 13, 2020. This week’s Wave Seven findings are based on 3,018 total responses from a U.S. panel population, ages 17-70 with a 50/50 gender split.

About Brand Keys

Brand Keys specializes in customer loyalty and engagement research, providing brand equity metrics that accurately predict future, in-market consumer behavior that correlates with sales and profitability. www.brandkeys.com

About Suzy

Suzy helps you make better, faster, more data-driven decisions. Their platform combines advanced research tools with the highest quality audience to deliver trusted insights in minutes. www.suzy.com

About TheCustomer

Launched in mid-2019, TheCustomer covers all of the disciplines within the customer engagement ecosystem, exploring the latest research, technologies and personalities driving the customer revolution. www.TheCustomer.net

Contact: Visibility Public Relations
Len Stein