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Returning to Regular Events in 2022

It’s the question that’s been on our minds since March 2020: When will everything be back to normal? When the pandemic started, many of us stopped dining indoors, going to parties, or heading to the movie theater to see the latest blockbuster. Many events like festivals, concerts, and weddings were canceled too. But things are looking up as many industries rebound after a tumultuous few years and more events are added to the calendar.


A survey of over 1,000 Americans reveals how they feel about attending different types of events, and how that has changed since the onset of the pandemic. 2020 was the year of the unknown, 2021 was the year vaccines rolled out, so is 2022 the year of the return to regularity?

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Almost 3 in 4 (74%) Americans believe we are living in a new normal. Additionally, 63% of people think 2022 is the first “normal” year since the pandemic started. Just over half (52%) of Americans say they feel comfortable attending any event or activity in 2022.


Over the past three years, Americans have felt uncomfortable attending many events. The top event that they were most uncomfortable with in 2020, 2021, and 2022 was indoor concerts. Other things they felt uncomfortable doing across all three years include international travel, going to parties, and attending indoor weddings.


There was an obvious shift in comfort levels in 2021, when COVID-19 vaccines became widely available nationwide. 63% of Americans felt uncomfortable going to indoor concerts in 2020, but this dropped to 48% in 2021, and then dropped again to just 28% in 2022. Similar trends can be seen across the board for all events and activities.The one thing that Americans felt most comfortable doing over all three years was dining outdoors.


Nearly half (44%) of Americans are most excited for small gatherings with family and friends to return to normal in 2022. This was followed by domestic and international travel (42%), small in-person events (33%), large in-person events (31%), and parties (23%).



The COVID-19 Pandemic in 2022


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Even though most events are back and vaccines are available, over half (51%) of Americans are currently worried and stressed about catching the COVID-19 virus.


When asked what makes Americans feel safest at events, the top answer (45%) was the event organizers requiring proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19. 38% feel safest when there’s reduced or limited capacities, 35% prefer when masks are required, and 34% feel safest when a negative COVID-19 test is required.


For some, it comes down to local transmission numbers. 1 in 5 Americans check daily COVID-19 cases in their area. This goes for travel too – 28% of people check COVID-19 case numbers before going on vacation, and 43% check the precautions in the area.


Right now, 15% of Americans still wear their mask whenever they’re outside the home, but 38% say they never wear a mask. Nearly 1 out of 3 (32%) said they sometimes wear their mask. For others, it depends on whether they're indoors or outdoors (11%) or on local transmission numbers (4%).


Over 1 in 4 (26%) Americans still wear a mask when they’re shopping in-person, 21% wear a mask when traveling domestically, and 19% wear one at work. Additionally, 19% of people wear them for international travel, and 16% wear them for outdoor concerts.


COVID-19 and Schools in 2022

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The new school year is around the corner, and COVID-19 has not been easy on students, teachers, or parents. 32% of Americans are optimistic though, saying they believe the upcoming school year will be back to pre-pandemic ways.


Even if school is back to normal, there’s no doubt that COVID-19 can throw a wrench in the upcoming year. 1 in 10 are worried about schools reverting back to remote learning, and 63% are uncomfortable going to school events like sports games. Almost 1 in 5 (19%) Americans worry about catching COVID-19 during the school year.


Many of us have really missed concerts, events, and spending quality time with others. With more things returning to normal like travel, festivals, and family events, remember to take it easy. This return to regularity will be an adjustment, and everyone will transition at different times and different ways. Either way, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel!



In June 2022, we surveyed 1,002 Americans to ask about their opinions on COVID-19 and the return of various events. Respondents were 49% male, 48% female, and 3% transgender/non-binary. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to 93, with an average age of 39.


For media inquiries, please contact media@digitalthirdcoast.net.


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