In The kNOW – Checking In – It’s More Than COVID
There’s a lot on our plates right now. We’ve still got Covid going on, the political stage is flaring up in different ways, summer has arrived, and people are going back to work and planning trips – or not. Considering all this, we wanted to ask folks questions about how they’re feeling about some key current issues. We surveyed over 1,300 Americans to better understand how we’re all feeling about life right now.
For all our questions we used a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 = Completely Disagree and 10 = Completely Agree. We purposefully didn’t give folks a ‘neutral’ as we really wanted them to think about which side they came out on -even if it was only ‘slightly’ leaning one way or the other.
First off, what about Covid? We’re two years in now and we’re really curious about some big picture thoughts and opinions. If you planned on getting vaccinated for Covid at all, by now you probably have. But how are people feeling about the vaccine’s success? Do they believe people SHOULD have gotten vaccinated by now? And is Covid going to be a fact of life from now on? We covered these and more questions in our questions about Covid Beliefs.
The strongest agreement is around the ideas that 1. Fully vaccinated people have a much easier time when they DO get Covid, 2. Frustrations with political rhetoric overshadowing medical expertise and 3. Covid is going to be a part of life from now on. There was slightly less overall agreement that ‘everyone will probably end up getting Covid at some point.’ Respondents are split on the idea that ‘except for those with legitimate health/ religious concerns if you’re still unvaccinated at this point you’re simply being stubborn and unsafe.’ We anticipated a larger share of people to disagree with that strongly-worded statement, so the equal split is a bit surprising. However, we did anticipate the majority disagree with the notion that Covid is ‘just a cold.’ It seems the overall number of deaths from Covid along with the volume of cases since 2020 may have finally put the kibosh on the ‘it’s just a cold’ argument.
But where has the pandemic left us? And what does summer look like? Are we finally able to move on from this? Most disagree that ‘the pandemic is over,’ 60% to be exact. And a good portion of us also disagree that ‘we can finally have a ‘normal,’ pre-pandemic summer in 2022’. And the impact of the pandemic is not lost on us. Most agree that ‘the pandemic changed the lives of so many Americans for the worse.’ We recognize it’s been a rough couple of years. But we’re trying to be optimistic and learn something from all of this. In fact, most agree that ‘living through a pandemic has made me more attuned to what really matters most.’ And we’re trying to look ahead through positive eyes. Even though we’re split on whether ‘life has not returned to pre-pandemic levels’ for us we’re also split on feeling like ‘the pandemic has forever changed the way I think about ‘going out’’. We’re not there yet – but we’re still hopeful.
And while Covid has been at the top of all our minds for a long while now. There are other things to think about. Companies, businesses, and travelers might be curious to know that about 60% of respondents are ‘still going to be cautious this summer with travel and ‘big crowds’’. But we’re split on whether we’ll ‘shop less in-store and more online from now on.’ These should serve as a cue to retailers. The last thing a retailer, restaurant, and other venue wants is for returning customers to decide they won’t come back. Taking measures to ensure your customers feel safe and well taken care of might include tactics such as sanitation stations, new queue strategies, and a revisit of staffing needs and capabilities.
We also asked folks to weigh in on another, more ‘big picture’ issue in the news. But rather than get specific politically on very polarizing issues, we were curious if the polarization is more manufactured by the political rhetoric than actual truth. We might be on to something. We asked people their level of agreement/ disagreement with the following statement: This country has become way too divided when in truth most Americans’ beliefs lie ‘in the middle’ on most issues. Sixty-three percent tend to agree with that statement. One in five ‘Completely Agree’ with it.
As a follow-up to asking, ‘are we really THIS divided,’ we also wanted to know how Americans felt about the actions being taken on our behalf. Are the powers that be listening to us? So, we asked people about their level of agreement/ disagreement with the statement, ‘I believe that legislators, the supreme court, and others in power are ignoring the will of the people.’ 2/3rds (61%) of respondents agree at least a little that the will of the people is being ignored by those in power. We worded this statement quite aggressively and with little left to the imagination.
The combination of these sentiments, that Americans are more ‘middle of the road’ than is being represented by our elected and chosen officials, along with the fatigue of dealing with a multi-year long pandemic may indicate we Americans are ready for a major shift in thinking, representation, and values. But who/ what will be the spark that lights the change? There’s plenty of kindling to choose from.
The pandemic also brought about a big shift in the way we work. Might that be the final straw? In next month’s edition of In the kNOW, we’ll share with you what we asked about the future of work-life. Be sure to check it out.
And, as always, if you’d like to discuss a custom, holistic research strategy for your business or brand, feel free to contact us.
Our ‘In the kNOW’ series tackles the burning questions we all want to know about right NOW. If you have questions you think we should ask, topics we should explore, or things you’d like to learn more about, shoot me a note at email@example.com.