Column, Money Matters

Confidence is back

By Kevin Theissen

Some big news recently was the announcement from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that fully vaccinated Americans can resume normal activities without wearing masks or social distancing, except where required by law. People are more than ready to return to normal.

Results from the latest Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus survey, conducted in early May, found Americans were feeling more optimistic. Among those surveyed:

  • 59% had visited friends or relatives during the previous week.
  • 54% had gone out to eat during the previous week.
  • 31% had made plans for the summer.
  • 18% had a stronger sense of emotional wellbeing, a six-point jump from the prior survey.
  • 60% indicated trips to salons, barber shops, and spas were low- or no-risk activities, up six points from the last survey.

Higher inflation may be back, too. As the pandemic has calmed in the United States, consumers have emerged eager to spend money — so eager that consumer spending is about 5.5 standard deviations above average. That’s a lot.

If your excitement about resuming “normal” life has been measured by a reluctance to change the routines you’ve adopted during the pandemic, you’re not alone. Medical experts at Northwestern University explained: “The emotional impact of this past year may linger with us for longer than we might expect. The key is not to feel forced to snap back into a routine overnight. Give yourself time and understand that your emotional journey back to freely socializing in vaccinated cohorts may look very different from those around you.”

Don’t be concerned about what others are doing and as some say, “you do you.”

Kevin Theissen is the owner of HWC Financial in Ludlow.

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