For Many Americans, Life Will Never Return To Pre-Pandemic Normal

Nevin Barich

Nevin Barich

June 8, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has significantly altered U.S. adults' behaviors to the point that many may never return to life before the pandemic.

That’s according to the findings of a Harris Poll conducted on behalf of University of Phoenix, which found that 86% of adults are concerned about the lasting impact the pandemic will have on their everyday lives. Meanwhile, 76% said that the pandemic has caused them to shift their priorities, and 73% said they'd like to continue doing activities that they've increased doing as a result of the pandemic once life is back to normal.

"The coronavirus pandemic has been one of the single most disruptive occurrences in the last decade and we could see ripple effects in how we interact, live our lives and view society for years to come ― if not indefinitely," said Dr. Dean Aslinia, University of Phoenix counseling program chair. "A shift in behaviors is almost always expected when people endure a substantial change in lifestyle like we experienced, but the survey findings illustrate that lives were impacted in unparalleled ways."

Among the survey’s other findings:

Eighty-six percent said even after social distancing guidelines are relaxed, they will be cautious. When considering personal health, 50% said that they will wear a mask and 28% will wear gloves at least most of the time in public. Sixty-one percent will clean/disinfect items they touch at least most of the time, and 62% will keep a 6-foot distance between themselves and others at least most of the time.

Fifty-three percent said they are less likely to attend a large event than before the pandemic began, while 52% said they’re less likely to travel internationally and 37% are less likely to travel domestically.

Forty-three percent of workers said that the pandemic has caused them to re-evaluate what they currently do for work, with 51% saying they would look for a workplace where they can work remotely and 34% saying they’d look for a job that is less public facing.

Even once social distancing guidelines are relaxed, many U.S. parents said they would still not be comfortable allowing their children to visit places such as attending a large gathering (66%), going to a theme park, zoo or mall (58%), attending a birthday party (57%), or playing on a playground (53%).

Nevin Barich is the Consumer Products Analyst at Industry Intelligence, which can help YOU better address your own industry challenges. To arm yourself with the latest market intelligence, contact or call 310-553-0008 if you’re interested in receiving or sharing the IMPACT report with your colleagues or partners

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