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Covid-19 poll daily insights

April 21, 2020

  • A growing number of people say that supporting a local business is a priority when choosing where to shop.
  • People in the five states with the most diagnosed coronavirus cases are more worried about leaving home once stay-at-home guidelines are lifted.
  • More than half of the people who have already received their stimulus check plan to spend some of it this week.


A growing number of people are prioritizing support for local businesses.

A week and a half ago, 20 percent of survey participants told us that a desire to support local businesses influenced where they were shopping. As of yesterday, that number has grown to 35 percent.

Many talked about turning away from bigger chains to shop local stores instead, and in some cases it’s gotten easier, since some small businesses have just started selling online for the first time. For some, shopping local offers a way to look out for the community. As one person told us, they “like to support smaller businesses … because I’m lucky enough to still be employed.”

change in prioritizing supporting local businesses over time 4-21

In the hardest-hit states, more people say they plan to stay home longer.

In the United States, the highest numbers of diagnosed coronavirus cases have been found in New York, New Jersey, California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Thirty-two percent of survey participants in these states indicated that they’re hesitant to quickly resume normal behavior, and plan to extend their social distancing precautions even after stay-at-home mandates are lifted. Only 19 percent of those in the remaining US states indicated that they would continue to stay home once guidelines lift.

plans to stay at home after restrictions are lifted 4-21

Many people plan to spend at least some of their stimulus check right away.

Fifty-seven percent of people who have already received stimulus checks say they plan to spend at least some of it this week. Within that group, 15 percent say that they’re planning on spending the entirety of their check this week. Others are holding off: Forty-three percent indicate that they plan to save all of it for use at a later date.

plans to spend stimulus check this week 4-21

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Consumer sentiment

What are people buying and why?

A number of people tell us they’re donating to charities and relief efforts more than usual these days. The causes they’re donating to vary from hospitals and medical organizations to local food banks and other programs. Others are supporting arts institutions that have abruptly shut down, like local movie theaters and art galleries. As one person said, “I’ll donate to arts organizations I love that are being hit particularly hard.”

Some are taking the opportunity to upgrade their homes with purchases like big kitchen appliances, new dining room tables, and bathroom sinks. For some, these purchases were already planned out before stay-at-home guidelines took hold. However, others have just recently decided to invest in new appliances, furniture, or fixtures after becoming frustrated with what they currently have in their homes.

Both indoor and outdoor plants are a popular purchase these days. While some people mentioned shopping for seeds and plants to start a vegetable garden, others just want to brighten up a room with a fern or potted plant.

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