As the country opens up, families are doing better

Ahead of Mother’s Day, it’s clear the toll the pandemic has had on families, particularly mothers, and how that’s making all eager (but cautious) to leave the home this summer.

The author(s)

  • Sarah Feldman Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs
  • Catherine Morris Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs
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May 04, 2021 – Ahead of Mother’s Day, it’s clear the toll the pandemic has had on families, particularly mothers, and how that’s making all eager (but cautious) to leave the home this summer.

Stories this week:


After a hard year, mothers are feeling more hopeful

Over the past year, two in three moms report feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, while just under half of the fathers in the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index feel the same.

Despite the trials of the last year, things are looking up. With kids increasingly in some hybrid or in-person learning setup plus the advancing vaccination campaign, 56% of moms feel hopeful right now, along with 42% of fathers.

The differences between mothers and fathers on these questions may be influenced by some of the pre-existing gender inequities that existed before the pandemic in areas like home life, childcare, and work. Previous Ipsos research found that mothers bore the brunt of much of the emotional, financial, and childcare crisis the pandemic created.

Family summer plans

Kids – and parents – might get more of a break this summer than last. A majority of parents are planning to let their children visit family and friends this summer, according to the Ipsos Consumer COVID tracker.

They also plan to visit museums, amusement parks and enroll their children in youth sports or other summer activities.

This new openness to future summer socializing marks a significant shift from the isolation of the initial lockdowns. In mid-May 2020, Axios/Ipsos data found that 31% of parents reported allowing their children to interact with other kids. Parents also generally are becoming more open to socializing now than they were earlier this winter, with 52% reporting having seen friends and family in the past week according to mid-April Axios/Ipsos data, up from 34% in late January.

Fear of COVID still conditions what Americans plan to do this summer

Americans are looking forward to getting out more this summer than they did in summer 2020, but fear of COVID still conditions what they are planning to do.

After last summer’s pullback in socializing outside the home, a majority are now planning to eat out, go to outdoors events, go shopping in-person and take long-distance car trips. But Americans who are least likely to see COVID as a threat to themselves are most likely to say they plan to do these activities, suggesting that broader concerns about the virus are still making some Americans hesitant about fully reengaging.

Young Americans more likely to receive Johnson & Johnson jab

One in five Americans under 35 received a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 shot, analysis of the Ipsos Consumer Coronavirus Tracker finds.

With Americans now able to access three different COVID-19 vaccines, Millennial and Gen Z social media users are creating a culture around what shot is desirable, with the two-shot mRNA vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer, viewed as preferable or "elite."

Yet, despite this social media narrative, younger Americans are still more likely to get Johnson & Johnson than their older counterparts. That may be, in part, because the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, approved about two and half months after Moderna and Pfizer, may not have been authorized or widely available when older Americans initially got their shot, among potential other reasons.

While studying these differences, it's important to remember that CDC guidance states that all FDA-authorized vaccines are safe and effective at reducing the risk of contracting severe illness from COVID-19.

The author(s)

  • Sarah Feldman Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs
  • Catherine Morris Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs

Society