Is the Coronavirus Pandemic Done? Many Americans Think So
Most Americans admit that there is still a possibility of them catching the virus, but their perceived risk of contracting the disease continues to decline.
Roughly two and a half years into the coronavirus pandemic, a majority of Americans say they are doing well in most aspects of their lives as many have already moved on from the health crisis, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.
“Most Americans have turned the page on the Covid pandemic, even as most acknowledge the virus is likely to be with us for the long term,” said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs, per Axios.
“While interest in easy preventatives, like the new Omicron-specific booster, remains high, most people are taking Covid risks in stride,” he continued.
According to the survey’s findings, most Americans admit that there is still a possibility of them catching the virus, but their perceived risk of contracting the disease continues to decline. 46 percent of respondents indicate they have already returned to their normal, pre-pandemic life.
“More Americans now believe that out-of-home behaviors, such as attending in-person gatherings, dining at a restaurant, taking a vacation, and attending a sporting event, pose no risk to their health than in mid-August of this year,” the report wrote.
Meanwhile, the share of Americans who report occasionally or never wearing a mask outside their home has remained at 63 percent since June. About half say they wear masks at all times or sometimes when on an airplane (48 percent). That figure drops to 39 percent on public transportation or in a rideshare, 33 percent at grocery stores, and 27 percent in restaurants.
“Of people who say they wear a mask at all times, sometimes, or occasionally, nearly one in five report worrying how other people view them because of their mask,” the report noted.
As for the future course of the pandemic, 85 percent of respondents agree that the world will never fully be rid of the virus in their lifetime. Nearly 90 percent say that the pandemic has changed Americans’ lives forever.
However, many respondents acknowledge that the different aspects of their lives have turned positive, such as their home and home life (90 percent), mental health (85 percent), emotional wellbeing (84 percent), physical health (83 percent), and personal finances (78 percent).
The survey results come as the Biden administration last week confirmed that most Americans will only need annual coronavirus booster shots going forward, according to STAT.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that, looking forward with the Covid-19 pandemic, in the absence of a dramatically different variant, we likely are moving toward a path with a vaccination cadence similar to that of the annual influenza vaccine, with annual updated Covid-19 shots matched to the currently circulating strains for most of the population,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said during a White House press briefing.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Finance and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.