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Consumer expectations around Covid-19: evolution over time

Since Apr 24, 2020, we have been collecting direct information on consumers’ expectations about the duration of social distancing rules, including stay-at-home and social-distancing rules, and of business closures, in the United States and Canada. The latest estimate of the median expectation for the duration of restrictions on business closures in the US stands at 32 days, corresponding to June 26. In Canada, the equivalent number is 43 days (representing a median expected end date of July 07). In both countries, the expected duration is declining. Uncertainty (dispersion) remains high, and increasing. The latest estimates of the median expectation for the duration of social distancing rules are increasing in both countries: 65 days (corresponding to an end date of July 29) in the United States, and 92 days (August 25) in Canada. Uncertainty in both countries is very high and increasing, with substantial fractions of respondents in both countries expecting social distancing to persist beyond 6 months.

Lead investigator:

Fabian Lange


McGill University

Primary topic:

Attitudes, media & governance

Secondary topic:

Recession & recovery

Region of data collection:

North America

Country of data collection


Status of data collection

In Progress

Type of data being collected:

Online survey

Unit of real-time data collection


Start date




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