Feb. 7, 2022 — About a quarter of U.S. adults believe the worst of the pandemic has yet to come, according to the latest poll from Yahoo News and YouGov.
About 27% said they think the worst is still coming, which has held steady for several months and was near 40% in September when the Delta variant surged in the U.S. About 33% said they’re unsure about the outlook, while 40% said the worst of the pandemic is “already behind us.”
In addition, 69% said the pandemic is “not over” in the U.S. But 34% said the pandemic is “over as it pertains to my own life” regardless of whether it’s “over for others.”
The survey of more than 1,500 adults, which was conducted Jan. 20-24, found that more people are ready to embrace pre-pandemic normalcy, Yahoo News reported. About 46% of those polled said the country needs to learn to live with the virus, and 43% said we need to do more to control it.
What’s more, about 37% of vaccinated adults said that the pandemic is “more of an inconvenience” than a “health concern” for them. About 55% of the fully vaccinated respondents said they want to “do more to vaccinate, wear masks and test,” while 37% said it’s time to “learn to live with COVID-19 and get back to normal.”
Asked when the U.S. should consider the pandemic “over,” 13% said it was “over already.” About 6% said it could be considered “over” when the Omicron variant wave subsides. About 29% said when the “risk of COVID-19 to Americans is on par with seasonal flu.”
About 38% said the U.S. should consider the pandemic over only “when global vaccination rates are high enough to stop dangerous new variants from emerging.”
The responses split somewhat along political party lines. About 69% of Democrats said the pandemic is not over for them personally, and 75% said the U.S. needs to do more to vaccinate, wear masks, and test.
On the other hand, about 59% of Republicans said the pandemic is over for them, and 65% said that COVID-19 rules are a “bigger problem in America today” than the virus itself.
About 59% of those polled said they remain at least somewhat worried about COVID-19, while 61% said they wore a mask outside their home always or most of the time in the previous week.
Once the coronavirus becomes “endemic” and circulates seasonally, some Americans, but not the majority, said they’d be willing to put strategies in place to minimize the impact of the virus. About 48% said they’d get a seasonal booster shot, 46% said they’d wear a mask indoors during surges, and 38% said they’d test regularly during surges.
As it pertains to schools, 37% of those polled said they’d be willing to require vaccinations in schools, 35% said they’d require masks in schools, and 32% said they’d require testing in schools.
Higher numbers of Americans said they’d still be willing to isolate once the virus becomes endemic. About 57% said they’d “isolate if infected,” and 45% said they’d be willing to require students to isolate if infected.
The survey respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S. adults. The margin of error is approximately 2.8%.