As over a dozen states reach their highest number of COVID-19 cases and a second round of stricter regulations and mandates are enacted around the nation, how have Americans’ perception of their safety been affected and what does it mean for long-term economic recovery? According to Gallup, only about three in ten Americans (29%) were confident they could protect themselves from COVID-19, which bodes ill for any economic boost.
As you’d expect, confidence was much lower with high-risk groups, like those over 55 years old. Democrats have a higher level of concern about the virus and lower level of confidence in protecting themselves than do Republicans. This could explain stricter mandates and regulations in Democrat-run states.
Gallup notes that Americans’ confidence is strongly linked to their consumption of public goods and activities. So as businesses struggle to stay open and more people lose their jobs, finding ways to safely increase public confidence will be key to an economic recovery. Mask mandates and restaurant regulations have strong correlations to increased confidence, but it may take robust vaccine distribution for more Americans to feel they’re safe and can return to normal day-to-day life.