The other day, we stopped by one of our favorite dining spots for a late lunch. The place was pretty much deserted.
Business always drops off after lunch hour, but it is equally clear that we are nowhere near normal.
A recent study out of the University of Chicago, highlighted in a recent Wall Street Journal piece, offers some insights.
The study found lockdown orders that went into effect a year ago were not the biggest reason for current conditions. The pattern held up in a follow-up later in the year, when many states went into the second wave of restrictions.
Instead, consumers remained cautious, even when establishments reopened and mandates were loosened, regardless of whether the venue was in a red or blue state.
Authors said that customer behavior was more influenced by the number of new coronavirus-related deaths rather than the restrictions, which tended to be less severe the second time around.
That runs counter to the narrative of those who claim restrictions in of themselves killed business.
It also brings us to vaccinations, the ultimate key to restoring confidence.
Beginning this weekend and despite confusion in messaging at the state level, younger employees are beginning to get vaccinations.
We will see demand exceed supply for a time. Eventually, employers will be dealing with reluctant workers who, for reasons ranging from QAnon conspiracy theories to a fear of needles, will resist vaccination efforts.
Compulsory vaccinations at private employers come with a host of issues. Those conversations can come later and could be unnecessary.
The best course of action is continued communication and employers going the extra mile in cutting through the red tape and confusion that comes in seeking out doses. One possibility is having an in-house expert, especially if your business does not have a human resources department.
The Division of Health is offering this Email link for employers: firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy your weekend. It’s nice to see the sun is finally out. – Doug and Sharon Rainey