Consumer Survey:
Fall 2020 Mask Sentiment

In early October 2020, Livinguard commissioned an unbiased, third-party vendor to survey adults from across the United States to better understand consumer habits and sentiments about using face masks in the age of COVID-19. Questions explored topics of mask preferences and habits, cold and flu season, holiday gatherings and public outings/gatherings, among others. Below are key findings:

While a number of Americans are still avoiding public spaces and large gatherings, many are still putting their health at risk by using contaminated masks – both by not appropriately sanitizing reusable masks and reusing single-use masks.

  • Nearly 7 in 10 Americans say they reuse single-use disposable masks
  • 49% of Americans prefer reusable cloth masks
    • 24% prefer single-use disposable masks
  • 46% who use reusable cloth masks wash their masks daily or after each use
    • 43% wash their reusable cloth mask weekly
    • 8% don’t wash their reusable cloth mask
  • More than 3 in 4 (77%) Americans think wearing face masks in public may become the “norm” for the foreseeable future
  • 52% of Americans indicate they are likely to continue wearing a face mask well into the future — even after the COVID-19 pandemic is eventually over
  • 46% of Americans did not say they feel their current facemasks offer sufficient protection from the COVID-19 virus
  • Nearly a quarter of (24%) Americans say that feeling a heightened sense of alert best describes how they feel when they are out shopping for groceries while wearing a mask
    • One in ten Americans (10%) say they are too scared to shop in-person, so they get their groceries through a delivery service or other method (i.e. have someone else do the grocery shopping)
  • If there were a mask made from special material able to kill the virus that causes COVID-19 infections, 74% of Americans say they would want to wear it
  • 50% of Americans say it’s unlikely they will consider attending a live event with large crowds while wearing a mask, while 36% are likely to consider attending a live event with large crowds while wearing a mask
    • 27% of Americans say they are likely to consider attending a live event with large crowds without wearing a mask, while 60% say it’s unlikely they would consider attending a live event with large crowds of people without wearing a mask
  • 63% of parents of school age parents in the U.S. say they agree to some extent that access to a mask that effectively prevents exposure to the COVID-19 virus would make them less concerned about their children attending school in person
  • 60% of Americans say they feel that wearing a mask helps reduce the spread of viruses including COVID-19
    • Slightly more than half (51%) say they feel it’s a pain but they know it’s the right thing to do
    • 30% have gotten used to wearing a face mask and don’t mind it at all
    • 29% of Americans wish there were masks that were better at preventing the spread of viruses
    • 9% don’t believe they need to wear a mask
  • While some Americans may be apprehensive, many are also avoiding certain public spaces altogether. According to the study’s findings, these are the places Americans say they will avoid entirely until the pandemic is under control:
    • Nearly half of Americans (48%) say they will avoid movie theaters entirely
      • 68% of Baby Boomers (56-74) will avoid movie theaters
      • 49% of Gen X (24-39) will avoid movie theaters
      • 41% of Millennials (24-39) will avoid movie theaters
      • 19% of Gen Z (18-23) will avoid movie theaters
    • 48% say cruises
      • 68% of Baby Boomers (56-74) will avoid cruises
      • 53% of Gen X (24-39) will avoid cruises
      • 37% of Millennials (24-39) will avoid cruises
      • 17% of Gen Z (18-23) will avoid cruises
    • 47% say concerts
      • 66% of Baby Boomers (56-74) will avoid concerts
      • 47% of Gen X (24-39) will avoid concerts
      • 40% of Millennials (24-39) will avoid concerts
      • 24% of Gen Z (18-23) will avoid concerts
    • 44% say amusement parks
      • 63% of Baby Boomers (56-74) will avoid amusement parks
      • 45% of Gen X (24-39) will avoid amusement parks
      • 35% of Millennials (24-39) will avoid amusement parks
      • 22% of Gen Z (18-23) will avoid amusement parks
    • 41% say airports
      • 56% of Baby Boomers (56-74) will avoid airports
      • 44% of Gen X (24-39) will avoid airports
      • 31% of Millennials (24-39) will avoid airports
      • 22% of Gen Z (18-23) will avoid airports
    • Nearly a third (32%) say they will avoid church or other places of worship entirely and nearly another third (31%) say they will avoid restaurants entirely
      • 47% of Baby Boomers (56-74) will avoid church or other place of worship
      • 33% of Gen X (24-39) will avoid church or other place of worship
      • 26% of Millennials (24-39) will avoid church or other place of worship
      • 20% of Gen Z (18-23) will avoid church or other place of worship
    • 31% say restaurants
      • 46% of Baby Boomers (56-74) will avoid restaurants
      • 34% of Gen X (24-39) will avoid restaurants
      • 26% of Millennials (24-39) will avoid restaurants
      • 11% of Gen Z (18-23) will avoid restaurants

In addition to the COVID-19 virus, Americans ought to consider wearing a mask to protect against the flu. There is no vaccine to prevent becoming infected with the COVID-19 virus, but there are multiple vaccines to protect against influenza. Nevertheless, findings suggest many Americans will skip their annual flu shot.

  • 63% of Americans report being more concerned about the upcoming flu season than they were last year
    • However, far more than half (57%) of Americans did not say they will get a flu vaccine in order to prevent catching the flu
  • Parents of school age children less often say that they will get a flu vaccine in order to prevent catching the flu (37%) compared to Americans who are not parents of a school age child (47%)
  • When it comes to taking measures to prevent catching the flu, participants in the Baby Boomer generation report they will get a flu vaccine (65%) more often than Gen X Americans (39%), Millennials (34%), and Gen Zers (29%)
  • 1 in 10 Millennials (10%) and 1 in 10 Gen Xers (10%) say they don’t believe they need to wear a mask
  • 1 in 10 Gen Z (10%) Americans say they do not plan to take any measures to prevent catching the flu
  • More than half of American consumers (53%) report feeling uncomfortable when others aren’t wearing masks around them in public
  • 46% of Gen Z Americans say they feel uncomfortable when others aren’t wearing a mask around them in public

With the holidays fast approaching, Americans share how their holiday plans may be different from last year’s holiday season. Forgetting to wear your mask to a Christmas or holiday party might be this year’s new faux pas to worry about.

  • 1 in 6 Americans (17%) say that if hosting or attending holiday events or celebrations, attendees will be expected to wear face masks
  • We asked Americans how their holiday season will be different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic… Here’s what we found:
    • All celebrations will be limited to their immediate family — 36%
    • They will conduct most or all their holiday shopping online — 24%
    • 22% of Americans say they will not host or attend any in-person holiday events or celebrations
  • More than half of Americans (56%) say they would consider buying a facemask as a gift or stocking stuffer for a friend or loved one this holiday season
    • Nearly two thirds of parents of school age children (65%) say they would consider buying a face mask as a gift or stocking stuffer for a friend or loved one this holiday season
    • 62% of American adults under 35 years of age say they would consider buying a facemask as a gift or stocking stuffer for a friend or loved one this holiday season
    • 44% of Americans 55 and older report that all celebrations this holiday season will be limited to their immediate family and nearly a third (31%) say they will conduct most or all of their holiday shopping online, while 1 in 5 Americans under 35 (20%) say they will do the same thing
  • For some Americans, this year’s holiday season will look the same.
    • 22% of Americans admit that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, their holiday season will not be different this year, instead celebrating the holiday season just like they always have

Livinguard commissioned unbiased, third-party vendor Atomik Research to conduct an online survey of 1,006 adults located throughout the United States between October 2-5, 2020. The makeup of the sample is statistically representative of the U.S. population based on the national census’s gender, age, and regional data. The margin of error for the overall sample (N=1,006) fell within +/- 3 percentage points with a confidence interval of 95%.

PR & Media Contact

Weber Shandwick

Mr. Eric White
Media Relations

Phone: 312-330-5073
Email: elwhite@webershandwick.com