Torn Between Excitement And Fear: open up or close?

There is excitement in the air, Germany is opening up again. Some feel it is to early others are waiting eagerly for normality to return. Community participants expressed their feelings about the new situation. Meanwhile Germany is already exposed to a third wave of Covid and vaccinations have stopped. So this is even more relevant now.


Overall, there is a feeling of relieve, happiness and excitement to be able to meet again with friends and move around freely. 

  • It’s an enormous relief that our little one can go back to kindergarten again and the older one attend school in shifts“
  • “Feeling free! I will for sure feel better and freer compared to when everything is always closed“
  • “Happy about normality returning but we are still careful”
  • “One place…. For people to meet, eat and talk. The key to freedom. Many people, a lot of food and plenty of culture”
  • ”I will feel happy again, liberated, and a desire to do all those activities from the past again. Meeting friends, going out in the nature, going on vacation, outside of ones four walls“


For many this excitement is combined with skepticism. There is a general fear about the future and what is to come. Bankruptcies and insolvencies are looming around the corners. Many areas of the German economy will need a long time to recover. Changed consumer behavior will not change back to where it was before Corona. People are afraid that there will be a wrong feeling of security that might lead to higher infection rates.

  • With one‘s eyes open into abyss“
  • “I (and my husband) consider it dangerous. We will watch the numbers closely“
  • “Somehow worried, I would prefer to be vaccinated. Only then normality will be possible. Everything else is nice but doesn’t mean you can still get infected. How fatal shortly before getting vaccinated“


The back and forth with opening and closing, light lockdown and full lockdown, the discussions about what to open up and what should still be closed creates confusion, and people have a hard time understanding the measurements. They were ready to comply but feel overstrained with the regulations and limitations over the past year.

  • I am just exhausted and cannot really comprehend most of it anymore. It feels like an infinite loop“

After weeks of “light” lockdown, Germany went into a full lockdown again on December 16th. That day, IKM started a long-term online community to observe changes in behavior, compliance, emotions, and observations of consumers in their close environment.

Stay tuned – We will consistently post findings from this standing consumer community.

Now with the opening up of the country, there will be longer intervals of feedback.

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