Looking Back on 100 Days

Over 100 days have passed since states began to issue stay-at-home orders in response to COVID-19. On June 24, the U.S. reported 38,672 positive COVID-19 tests, marking the largest daily increase in new cases since a previous high recorded two months earlier. While the Northeast has largely controlled the transmission of the virus, the sudden rise in cases in states like California, Texas, and Florida has prompted state governments and businesses to reevaluate their plans for easing lockdown measures. Hoping to keep their own numbers under control amidst this resurgence, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut – states once at the epicenter of the outbreak – have recently announced travel advisories that require people arriving from states with high coronavirus rates to quarantine for 14 days.

With 100 days behind us and COVID-19 now surging in the South and West, we look back at our previous findings to identify shifts in general sentiment and behavior as the crisis continues to evolve. We track changes in nervousness across regions and generations over time, as well as Americans’ predictions around the return to normalcy in the U.S. As states continue their phased approach to reopening businesses, we also check in with our audience to learn which types of establishments they would feel most comfortable going to in the next 30 days. 

June 25, 2020

How nervous are you about the coronavirus outbreak?

In early March, 72% of Americans felt calm and collected about the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak. Over the past few months, those feeling calm and collected consistently outnumbered those who reported feeling nervous or very nervous. Starting in May, we saw a gradual increase in nervousness across demographics, with those feeling very nervous (53%) surpassing those feeling calm and collected (45%) for the first time in early June.

Line graph showing the nervousness of respondents about Covid-19

Very Nervous by Generation

At the start of the outbreak, the oldest and youngest generations reported feeling the most nervous about COVID-19. While Americans over 75 are still the most nervous about the pandemic, Gen Z has gradually become the least nervous age group over time.

LIne graph showing how nervousness about Covid-19 has increased by generation

Very Nervous by Region

As the outbreak continues to spread, nervousness has increased throughout regions experiencing a high volume of cases. The highest percentage of Americans continue to feel the most nervous in the Northeast, the initial epicenter of the outbreak. With cases spiking following the loosening of stay-at-home restrictions in June, those in the Southwest and Southeast are now reporting significant increases in nervousness. Those in the Midwest are the least likely to feel very nervous at this time.

Bar graph showing how nervous Americans are by region about Covid-19

What are you most nervous about at this time?

Health has remained a top concern for Americans of all ages throughout the pandemic. Across generations, Americans are most worried about the health of their families. Gen Zers and millennials are the least likely to worry about the health of the U.S. but the most likely to be concerned about their personal finances. Baby boomers and The Silent Generation are most likely to worry about their own health and the overall health of the U.S.

Bar graph showing what each generation is most nervous about during Covid-19

When do you think life will go back to normal in America?


increase in the number of people who believe life is never going back to normal in America

Bar graph comparing when people thing life will return to normal in America

Compared to other generations, Gen Xers (44%) and baby boomers (42%) are the most likely to believe that life will never go back to normal in the U.S.

Circle chart showing when each generation believe life will return to normal

As states continue lifting restrictions, which places would you feel comfortable visiting in the next 30 days?

Americans are still most comfortable going to the grocery store, as they have been operating safely throughout the outbreak. While restaurants and salons topped the list of places Americans would feel comfortable frequenting back in May, malls and retail stores have bumped salons out of the number three spot. 31% of Americans are not comfortable going to any of these establishments just yet, up from 27% in May. Overall, Americans consistently feel the least comfortable dropping off their children at daycare.

Compared to other age groups...

  • Baby boomers feel the most comfortable going to the grocery store.
  • Millennials feel the least comfortable going to restaurants.
  • The Silent Generation feels the most comfortable going to beauty salons.
Bar graph comparing where each generation feels comforatable going in the next 30 days

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How is this data collected?

‘Fluent Pulse’ reflects a daily online survey collected across Fluent’s portfolio of owned & operated websites.

Who is the audience?

Fluent attracts a massive audience across its network of owned media properties. While all segments of the US population are represented, the below are our most prevalent demographic skews:

Demographic Attribute Over Penetrated Among
Age Median: 38

61% between the age of 18 & 44

Gender 50/50 Male/Female
Education High School Degree or Some College
Homeownership 61% Renters
Households with Children 42% of Audience

How many people were surveyed?

On average, 150,000 – 175,000 consumers respond daily.

Is the data weighted?

No, but representative of the overall Fluent Audience.

How do you protect consumers data privacy?

All responses related to this survey are anonymized; only survey responses will be disclosed. At no point will consumer’s personal information will ever be disclosed.

What was your methodology?

Data has been collected from U.S. adults on a daily or weekly basis, dependent upon topic, since March 10, 2020. All data is sourced from Fluent’s portfolio of owned and operated media properties. Results are specific to the Fluent audience and not reflective of the general U.S. population.

The data presented on this site does not reflect the official opinion, policy or position of Fluent, Inc. This research is only meant to inform and illustrate, as an example, the rich data assets Fluent can derive insights from to drive in-market strategies.