Americans haven’t let coronavirus keep them from concerts, plays or movies, but that will change if the disease spreads to their communities, a new study finds.
The survey of consumer behavior was conducted by Morning Consult from Feb. 28 to March 1, a period of time that saw the first death from coronavirus on U.S. soil. In the following days, five more people have died from an outbreak in Washington state, and more than 90 cases have been reported. The global death toll from the upper respiratory disease known as COVID-19 stands at more than 3,000 people.
And yet, even as the threat of a pandemic grows, half of the 2,200 respondents said they are neither more nor less likely to go to the cinema or to see a play. Forty seven percent of those surveyed said coronavirus had not impacted the likelihood that they would go to a concert or visit an amusement park.
But those numbers change dramatically if the disease hits their hometowns. Sixty two percent of those surveyed said they would be less likely to go to the movies, theater or amusement parks if coronavirus impacts their community. Sixty three percent said it would make them less likely to go to a concert. The spread of the disease is already impacting the entertainment business. Films such as “No Time to Die” and “Mulan” have canceled or pushed their release in countries such as Italy and China, where the disease is more widespread. Bands such as Green Day and BTS have pulled upcoming appearances in Asia over concerns about the disease. And companies such as CNN/WarnerMedia Sports and Sony have begun to institute travel restrictions for employees.
In one rare bit of good news, the stock market rebounded slightly on Monday after having one of its worst falls since the 2008 recession. The stronger finish was the result of anticipation that the Federal Reserve may cut interest rates in an effort to jump start the economy.