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Fearful and Frugal: Coronavirus Wreaks Havoc on America’s Psyche

Covid-19 is ushering in a dramatic shift in U.S. shopping habits, one likely not seen since the Great Depression.

Many malls, like this one in Tucson, Arizona, have reopened, but shoppers still aren’t showing up. Americans are hesitant to go back to stores, according to a recent survey, in what could be a long-term shift in behavior.

Many malls, like this one in Tucson, Arizona, have reopened, but shoppers still aren’t showing up. Americans are hesitant to go back to stores, according to a recent survey, in what could be a long-term shift in behavior.

Photographer: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg

As the U.S. reopens, Americans aren't much interested in going out and spending.

A survey of 2,200 U.S. adults shows how Covid-19 has dramatically changed behavior in the world’s biggest economy, potentially for the long haul. The data flashes warning signs for the recovery, showing waning interest in public events and material things, like appliances and clothes, and a new austerity, expressed through pantry stockpiling and delayed big-ticket purchases.