Looking back on 21 months that changed the world
Transport yourself back to April 2020. A national emergency had been declared on March 11th and lockdowns began shortly thereafter. Millions of employees were amused by the order to work from home. Panic set in when buying cleaning agents and personal protective equipment (PPE). The first emergency vaccine was still nine months away.
Big cities seized public parks and filled them with makeshift medical centers to cope with the congestion in hospitals. Ventilators were in short supply – an alarming addendum.
At that point, PYMNTS began recording the COVID-19 pandemic in a series of reports we called âpandemicsâ – a mix of âpandemicâ and âeconomyâ – and capturing the impact of what happened in the coming months a health crisis would evolve into a world changing event that is in many ways the same as a world war and in other ways unlike anything we have ever experienced.
What follows is a collection of quotes and statistics from this series of reports that show how far we have come in the recovery of the pandemic – and how far we still have to go.
The fact that we used phrases like âpost-pandemicâ in April 2020 shows how little the world really understood about the events or how long they would last.
Of the many insightful statistics in this report, one is eerily similar to the one almost two years later with the omicron variant.
As the April 2020 poll said, people are âless worried about infecting others and more worried about dying. The proportion of consumers who report contagion other than their main concern has steadily decreased from 37.2% on March 17th to 31.4% on April 11th, from 25.2% on March 17th to 31.1% on 11 April.”
About eight months after what we first saw as a health scare that would come and go like a bad flu season, vaccines were still not available, delivery aggregators were advocating as the country’s new kitchen / restaurant combo, and the people were resigned to barring life.
That report said, âOur research consistently shows that consumers believe it will take more time for their lives to return to normal as the pandemic lasts longer. The average consumer now believes it will take 374 days for the effects of the pandemic on their life to wear off. That is about 2.7 times as long as expected on March 17th. “
Vaccines had been around for about five months by May 2021, so we researched Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMB) on Main Street and found that digital transformation is hard at work.
“The adoption of innovation strategies has become commonplace, with an overwhelming 88% of SMB owners on Main Street saying they implemented some type of innovation such as contactless technology and digitization during the pandemic,” the May 2021 report said. “Main Street SMBs in the technology sector are leading these investments. 96% said that they implemented innovation strategies during the pandemic. “
PYMNTS found that âMain Street SMBs optimistic about vaccination adoption are the most likely to invest, with 62% of those who believe vaccination will beâ very âorâ extremely âsuccessful planning to do so. That proportion is only 24% of Main Street SMBs who are pessimistic about the vaccine’s effectiveness. “
What a difference a year and a half can make. Remember, the fear of dying in April 2020 was number one on the minds of consumers. In the third quarter of 2021, fears of money had displaced morbidity.
Given that “Consumers are now more concerned about the impact of the pandemic on the economy than it is about the impact on their health,” nearly 30% of respondents to this pandemic survey cited economic concerns as their major concern not to COVID get (or die from). .
“Consumer pandemic fears have changed dramatically since the first outbreak,” the report said, finding that 62% of consumers were “very” or “extremely” concerned about the continuing impact of the pandemic on the US economy. This compares with 48% of consumers who say they feel ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ concerned about how the pandemic could affect their health. Social concerns rank third on the minds of consumers, with 44% saying they are “very” or “extremely” concerned about the impact of the pandemic on their social lives. “
Since the omicron variant is now again very dizzy, the digital transformation of everyday life has progressed so far that we talked a lot about the metaverse at the end of the year – at least one âplaceâ we know where COVID is never an issue will .
See also: What Consumers Are Saying About Reopening the Physical World – And What It Means For The Economy