What happens in the economy as the COVID-19 panic subsides will be ultimately up to the consumers. Individuals will decide what they are comfortable with doing.

Assuming the government lifts restricts and doesn't over-regulate our lives post-coronavirus, the consumers will vote with their feet and their wallets. It is also up to individual businesses and their leadership to create an atmosphere that makes consumers feel safe and comfortable with their services and establishments.

And it is important to remember the government can place so many regulations on businesses and consumers to make any recovery impossible to succeed.

A recent poll by Suffolk University, the Boston Globe, and WGBH shows that the Massachusetts consumers are extremely concerned about doing the things they used to do prior to this latest pandemic. I understand why people feel this way; nobody wants to get sick, see a loved one sick, and worst of all, see themselves or friends and family die from this Chinese-imported disease.

According to the Boston Globe, the poll indicates that only 42 percent of people would feel comfortable dining in a restaurant in the future. That is a reasonable feeling given the current situation. That means restaurants are going to have to add something about the cleanliness and safety of their establishments to their marketing and advertising campaigns. I'm confident that consumers will return to their old behaviors, provided they are allowed to be by the government.

One of the results of the poll indicates that people are positive about the future. The Globe reports that 69 percent of the folks believe "life will be better a year from now."

History is also on the side of consumers returning to the economy after an outbreak of disease has ravaged their lives.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at chris.mccarthy@townsquaremedia.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app