Does A Vaccine Fix Anything?

12/1/2020

Talks of a vaccine have been all over the news, with the potential of one being available, if not broadly, before the end of 2020. This has been greeted with cautious optimism, as many people are fearful of taking a vaccine that has been expedited through the FDA approval process.  Other individuals are concerned that we do not have any evidence of long-term effectiveness or a study that shows there would not be long-term side effects.  Despite the reluctance on the part of many Americans to take the vaccine, that seems to be a tipping point that individuals point to for when life can go back to business as usual.  Will Americans actually resume their activities like they did prior to the pandemic?

Investors lean towards continuing to wear masks even after a vaccine is available, according to recent Spectrem Group research.  Investors were asked to identify on a 0-100 scale the level of agreement with actions in the event of a vaccine, with 0 being disagree and 100 being agree.  When investors were asked if people should continue to wear masks, a score of 61.01 was given.  That number bumps up to a 67.36 among Millennials, and a 72.80 among Democrats. 

Anyone who has been to the grocery store or many other public places have seen shields installed to help prevent the spread of germs.  This has happened gradually since the start of the coronavirus pandemic; however, investors feel that those shields should remain in place even after a vaccine is available, giving that a score of 64.02.  Again, Millennials are more likely in agreement with keeping the safeguards in place with a score of 68.69.

Social distancing has become a part of everyday life and is something that most people find to be a reasonable precaution to take.  Now, once our country has a vaccine available, social distancing will likely still be followed by many people.  Investors gave a score of 63.48 in agreement of continuing to practice social distancing.  Millennials and Democrats continue to be the investor segments that are most in agreement.

The safeguard that investors are the least in agreement with once a vaccine is available is larger gatherings being canceled.  Investors are split at a 50.51 when asked if they would agree with large gatherings of people be canceled after a vaccine is available.  Millennials are the only age segment that is above neutral at a score of 61.09.

It is likely that many of the precautions that investors have been taking over the past 9 months will continue for a long period of time after a vaccine is available.  Personal sense of safety and health concerns can drive those decisions as well.  This pandemic has permanently impacted how we live, do business, educate, and receive services.  It is unlikely our country will return to a pre-coronavirus way of life without any additional precautions or changes to our daily life. 

What changes will you keep in place in your life?