If you think you have lost track of how many COVID-19 waves there have been, you might not be far off from reality as the count keeps blurring every time a surge is reported after a lull. In more recent news about the effects of the newest variant, Omicron, the market data shows consumers did not hold back in their shopping plans, as much as they had to with their travel plans.
Data from the website FlightAware showed there to be more than 1,100 flight cancellations, coming in or leaving from the U.S., due to COVID-19. Some flights were canceled due to restrictions, and others due to staff issues caused by Covid. The travel restrictions put on by the administration are still unclear on their limits or extensions as of yet, meaning clearly that they are intended to be extended as the country deals with a surge in the newest Covid variant.
According to multiple unofficial but credible sources, holiday shopping on the other hand increased in overall percentage, compared to previous years. Even though there are restrictions in malls and shopping outlets, customers did not let that deter their holiday shopping, be it for themselves or their loved ones.
The economy as a whole is however expected to be slowed down due to the various hindrances in outdoor activity once again caused by the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Chief economist at the Institute of International Finance, Robin Brooks said about the situation, “A full reopening of the U.S. economy will be delayed yet again,” something economists have been predicting since the deterioration in overall transmissibility of the virus was increased again.
Travelers whether for work or for tourism are expecting the restrictions and requirements of the pandemic life to be a routine part of travel now. “I don’t think we have much to worry about if we take all the precautions, and I think we will be entering a situation where we just live with the virus,” said Aneesh Abhyankar, who was flying to India from Atlanta, without any hindrance to her flight schedule.
The surge and overall quality of life are comparatively better for those who are vaccinated and boosted as they have to face the least amount of restrictions, whether that’s during travel, shopping, or any other outdoor activity.