Although Americans continue to be worried about the spread of COVID-19, the vast majority say it is time to accept it as part of life, according to a new Monmouth University Poll released on Monday.
A full 70% of Americans agree with the sentiment that "it's time we accept that COVID is here to stay, and we just need to get on with our lives," including 78% of those who report having gotten the coronavirus, and 65% of those who say they have not been infected.
The survey finds a majority of the public continues to back some preventative measures, but not others.
For example, 52% support instituting, or reinstituting, face mask and social distancing guidelines in their home state, which is less than December (55%) and September (63%), but is the same as last July (52%) when COVID-19's spread was at its lowest ebb so far.
However, only 43% back requiring people to show proof of vaccination in order to work in an office or other setting where they are around other people after support was at 53% in September and 46% last month.
"We still see public support for maintaining some degree of public safety around COVID," Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray said. "However, there appears to be an acknowledgment that federal measures have not been effective, or at least have failed to be widely accepted."
Other results from the poll indicate:
- Partisanship is the the main difference in the sense that it is time to move on — ranging from 89% of Republicans and 71% of independents to 47% of Democrats.
- Only 34% of the public feel the country will get the outbreak under control and return to normal by the end of the year, with 28% saying a return to normalcy will never happen, which is up from 22% who felt this way in September, and just 6% who were similarly pessimistic a year ago.
- Half, 50%, are either very (23%) or somewhat (27%) concerned about catching one of the new COVID variants. Even so, 37% remain unlikely to ever get a booster shot, including 17% who remain opposed even to getting the initial vaccination.
- Just 43% say President Joe Biden has done a good job on handling the pandemic, while 53% say he has done a bad job — the first time his rating on this metric has been underwater since he took office. Public opinion on the president’s handling of COVID-19 was evenly split a month ago (46% good job and 46% bad job) and was consistently positive in polls prior to that.
- Views of federal health agencies' handling of the pandemic have now fallen into negative territory (46% good job and 47% bad job) after declining but remaining positive a month ago (48% good and 41% bad).
The poll was carried out by telephone from Jan. 20-24, with 794 adults. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points.
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