Cliff's Take: The Calm Before the Storm? America Pauses, While Social Distancing Continues

America Pauses to Regroup on COVID-19

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  • Clifford Young President, US, Public Affairs
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This week’s COVID-19 numbers: as of Friday morning, there were 244,228 confirmed cases of the virus in the United States; 6,200 fatalities; and more than 10 million unemployment claims filed last month.

This is our backdrop; this is our context. It is grim.

Below I detail the most relevant polling data of the past week.  Again, I give as little commentary as possible. The data speak for itself.


  1. Our Temporary Equilibrium. Overall the data show a relative leveling off of the rapidity of behavioral and attitudinal change. Americans are taking a collective pause. Below I created a summated index for each of the behavioral domains tracked in our Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index. The data is clear.  This week is about behavioral abatement.  Look at the trendlines across all domains. Impact indices coronavirus


  2. But Social Distancing Continues. More Americans than last week self-quarantined and avoided places of mass congregation. America is a different place as a result. Impact on personal lives


  3. Consumer Confidence Stabilizes for Now. After the largest single decline in our series, consumer confidence remains stable this week versus last week. As I see it, much of the damage of the 10 million plus layoffs and furloughs was baked into last week’s numbers. Again, it’s hard to say whether our index is a leading or lagging indicator — only the future will tell. Consumer confidence stabilizes


  4. Tale of Two Americas. In our COVID-19 world, the more affluent and more educated are social distancing and going virtual for work. As I told Axios, “The rich and affluent have gone virtual. They’ve maintained their jobs through the virtual world. The working and the poor are more exposed." Nothing really changes. Socioeconomic impact coronavirus


  5. Most Americans Are Thinking About the Long Game. From our ABC-Ipsos poll, a majority of Americans (56%) believe that the COVID-19 crisis will last at least until the summer. Let’s see how these perspectives change as the virus penetrates every nook and cranny of America. When Americans think life will normalize


Finally, see my most recent interview with Tim Farley that synthesizes the above.  And join me on April 9th at the ARF virtual town hall where I will talk about the most recent data of our COVID-19 world.

For more information, please contact:

Clifford Young

President, U.S.
Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2016

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The author(s)

  • Clifford Young President, US, Public Affairs