The news: More than half (52%) of US adults said they believe it will take over a year before they can resume living the way they did before the pandemic—with some in this cohort believing that life will never go back to normal, per the January wave of an Axios and Ipsos tracking poll.
Social distancing is back: The majority (57%) of respondents said they practiced social distancing in the week leading up to the survey, up more than 10 percentage points from last month and the highest reported figure since April 2021—when vaccines were just becoming available to adults.
Commercial activity could be down given the dearth in testing: 14% indicated that they were unsuccessful at finding an at-home test over the past few weeks, and 10% said they couldn’t find an appointment with a medical professional to get a test.
Behind the numbers:
The silver lining: Three in 10 unvaccinated respondents indicated that omicron has made them more likely to get vaccinated, up from less than 20% just one month ago.
The big takeaway: Expect brick-and-mortar retailers and travel and hospitality companies to have a rough Q1 2022. While sentiment is expected to rebound as the quarter progresses, it’s hard to know exactly at what point that will occur.