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WHYY: What will the end of the COVID pandemic look like?

By April 26, 2021May 9th, 2021No Comments

More than 50% of adults in the United States have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. For many, it feels like the light at the end of the tunnel. But after more than a year of physical distancing and lifestyle changes, people want to know when — and how — life will resume post-pandemic.

There’s been a lot of discussion about how society will react to the end of the pandemic. Many predict life will reflect the Roaring ’20s, because people are desperate to socialize after a year of physical distancing. Others predict that won’t be so easy because life has been forever changed.

“The first tendency is that when we have a pent-up demand for something, once we’re allowed to do it, we sort of do it with exuberance. When barbershops and salons first opened up after the initial lockdown, there was more desire for haircuts than there would be in a typical week because we all have that pent-up desire,” said Gretchen Chapman, a psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University.


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  • Gretchan Chapman headshot

    Gretchen Chapman, PhD

    Professor of Psychology, Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University