economy Science COVID

Are We There Yet? … Actually, Yes, Almost


In case you weren’t aware, the pandemic is still a thing. November 4th came and went; and no, the virus didn’t “go away.” In fact, the United States is hitting record numbers of cases and hospitalizations on a daily basis. And even if the collective media took a break, the exponential growth didn’t.


But it’s happening, folks. It’s really happening. We can see a light at the end of this mind-bending, life-altering, time-distorting pandemic! In the past two weeks, both Pfizer and Moderna reported very promising results of their Phase III clinical trials. On the bright side, that means we’ll shortly be resuming birthday parties, family reunions, and all the social gatherings. On the other hand, you will be obligated to attend birthday parties, family reunions, and ALL the social gatherings.


Even as a third peak rears its ugly (and deadly) head, Americans are more optimistic about a return to normal than they’ve been since we started tracking expectations about the timing of a vaccine and re-opened economy. On average, Americans believe we’re about 12 months from a vaccine – a precipitous decrease from the 15.5 months Americans predicted in October.


In stark relief to their October projections, respondents in the Northeast are quite bullish on the return to normal. Americans of all regions are forecasting a shorter runway to normal, buoyed by the thought of vaccines.



It should go without saying, but we’ll keep saying it – social distancing and wearing a mask are the most effective ways to stay safe until a vaccine is widely distributed.