While officials in the United States and internationally are under increased pressure to reopen the economy, health experts are warning that a rushed exit from lockdowns could foster a second wave of infections and torpedo much of the progress made so far in slowing down the spread of COVID-19.
Regardless of whether or not reopening is premature from an epidemiological point of view, many consider it the only option to limit the economic fallout of the lockdown, which has already devastated the U.S. economy, leaving 20+ million without a job.
Reopening will not automatically kickstart economic activity, however, because people may still behave cautiously even if they’re legally allowed to return to business-as-usual. According to Statista’s COVID-19 Barometer, a weekly survey covering consumer attitudes with respect to the pandemic, many Americans plan to avoid certain situations/mass gatherings even after restrictions have been lifted. As the following chart shows, movie theaters, bars and concerts top the list of places people will likely avoid for a while.