While some Americans have expressed optimism about the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic being over after the post-holiday surge of infections, the majority still believe that the pandemic is getting worse, according to a new poll.
What Are Your Feelings On The Future of the Pandemic?
Gallup released new data that found that optimism about the trajectory of the pandemic in the US has fallen precipitously in recent weeks and months, to the highest level in a year.
According to the latest poll, which was conducted between Monday, Jan. 3 and Friday, Jan. 14 found that just 20 percent think the pandemic is improving, 22 percent believe things have remained unchanged, while 58 percent of Americans believe that the COVID-19 situation is getting worse.
The stark spike in the negativity surrounding the future of the pandemic comes a year after the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, when optimism was at its highest point since the pandemic began in March 2020.
As recently as May and June 2021, more than 80 percent of American adults believed that the COVID-19 situation was improving, though once the Delta variant of the virus emerged, positivity plummeted, only to be taken over by the now-dominant Omicron variant, which accounts for more than 90 percent of all new infections.
Additionally, the Gallup all found that the number of Americans concerned about contracting COVID-19 has jumped by 12 points, up to 50 percent, since the previous poll that was conducted in late November and early December before the holiday surge of new cases.
Pollsters said that worry about contracting the virus has increased most among older Americans, Democrats, and independent voters; however, concern among Republicans and unvaccinated adults has increased less, and they remain among the least worried about infection.
According to Gallup, Americans expressed that they are more likely to socially distance or avoid large crowds due to the latest surge of new cases, though they are equally likely to wear a facemask in public, while indoor dining is down dramatically at restaurants from the previous poll.
“When the COVID-19 vaccine was rolled out last year, there was great hope that the pandemic would have ended in the US by now,” pollsters said. "But with COVID-19 cases in the US skyrocketing due to the omicron variant of the virus, Americans' views of the pandemic have once again turned negative, and worry about getting the virus is on the rise to levels not seen since vaccines were widely available.
“As the public tries to cope with the fallout of this new variant, many have reverted to social distancing behaviors last employed when the pandemic was at its worst,” they continued.
“Views of the pandemic remain sharply politically polarized, and the steady share of about one-fifth of the adult population that is not vaccinated against COVID-19 is largely eschewing masks and social distancing measures,” officials said. "Meanwhile, public health officials continue to promote the use of masks and the benefits of vaccines as the way to end the pandemic.”
Complete results of the poll can be found here.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.