This weekend I was cleaning out my closet when I came across a bag with six dirty dress shirts. Six shirts that I had not seen/worn since last March. They had been shoved in the bag to be dropped at the dry cleaners. Sadly, I had not even missed them this whole time. Early during the pandemic we had all heard about BBC Dad and like me, you probably imagine him with sweat pants on the bottom half. Well, I must admit that since the pandemic my wardrobe has got a lot more casual, too casual. Not quite sweatpants, but certainly not dress shirts and suits.

At least at trampoline we all mostly been back in the office here on Hollis Street since July. But, like most business owners I’m concerned with the how sluggish the economy is right now and although we believe, and practice a safe workplace based on the best advice of the local health authority, we are encouraging everyone to ‘lean-in’ as best they can to help spur the recovery.  To that end, I’m going on record right now to ‘up my game’ (unlikely to the height of our dapper  Mr. Batherson) and show-up in more of business ‘uniform’… at least 3 days a week anyway!

Unfortunately, I, and my colleagues at Trampoline do not seem to be in the majority of the work force in Canadians according to last week’s Angus Reid COVID-19 monitoring.  It should be pointed out that this is a national sample and in Atlantic Canada we may have different sentiments because of our relative lower number of cases. Regardless, here is what is trending:

More Canadians Staying Put: With case counts rising, Canadians are expressing increased reluctance to leave their home. In particular, Canadians are less willing to visit a friend/family member's home and to travel to another part of their town or to another city than they were a couple of weeks ago. Along with the Angus Reid survey, we monitor traffic and although vehicular traffic ion Halifax is down a bit for the last couple of weeks, pedestrian and even public transit are on the rise.

Almost all Canadians expect the pandemic last at least another six months: When asked to predict when things will “return to normal,” very few foresee an end to the pandemic within the calendar year or even by early 2021. One-third believe it will end somewhere between six months and a year from now, while another 55% think the pandemic will persist for longer than a year.

Stress Levels Holding Steady: Canadians are not reporting any significant increase in their levels of stress despite rising COVID- 19 case counts throughout the country, and for the first time since June fewer Canadian’s believe that things will "get worse" before they get better. Canadians’ experiences throughout the first wave are likely providing a sense they’ve ‘been through this’ before. Again, locally we may be unduly influenced by national and world events but anecdotally our clients are picking up their marketing efforts which suggest consumer confidents may be improving.

Not sure how much longer I can HOLD it: Amidst a stagnating economic climate and governments placing numerous restrictions on travel and leisure, half (50%) of Canadians say that their life has been put “on hold” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not surprisingly Atlantic Canada is faring the best with almost 60% feeling that their life is ‘moving forward’

Be Careful What You Wish For: While two in five Canadians report having had more time on their hands during the pandemic overall, this autumn seems to have brought a shift where only one in five report having more time, and 63% say they have about the same amount of time as before the pandemic. Of course, fewer vacations, back-to-school and regular routines will have all contributed to this.

Investing During the Pandemic: Canadians have varying perspectives on investments amid the pandemic. While opinions are split on whether it's a good time to make a financial investment, close to half (44%) say it's a good time to buy a house, and one third say it’s a good time to invest in real estate.

My freshly laundered shirts will be ready on Monday so Tuesday is suit day. Have your cameras ready!