A poll published by Gallup finds that while a substantial majority of Americans agree that the situation around the COVID pandemic is getting better, there is less agreement in whether the public health emergency that has engulfed the world over the last year is actually over, with party ID playing a critical role on the perceptions about the state of the pandemic.
The survey, conducted between June 14th and June 20th, gave some interesting insights regarding the attitudes of the American people towards the state of the COVID-19 pandemic. 89% of Americans believe that the COVID situation in the country is getting better, a record high number since Gallup began to ask this question in April of last year.
This general optimism comes at a time when almost half of the American population is fully vaccinated against the virus and weeks after the CDC relaxed its mask guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals. Similarly, 62% of Americans believe that their lives have returned to some type of normality, a slight increase from the 57% registered in May, while only 24% answered that their lives are not yet back to normal, an important decrease from the 34% of May.
Another poll, conducted by Morning Consult, also shows that there is a significant dip in American’s concerns about the pandemic. This survey shows that 37% of Americans are “very concerned” about the pandemic, while a healthy majority of Americans in each age cohort is comfortable returning to their normal routine
Party affiliation a major factor
However, the agreements regarding the state of the pandemic end here. While almost all Americans believe that the situation is getting better, only 30% think the pandemic is actually over, with numbers varying significantly depending on the party identification of those surveyed.
When asked the question of whether they thought the pandemic was over or not, an overwhelming 96% of Democrats answered that they did not think that. Republicans, on the flip side, are more divided over the issue, with 57% of them thinking that the pandemic is over while 43% say it is not. Independents, as usual, are somewhere in the middle with 66% of them saying the pandemic is not over and 34% saying that it is.
There are other differences based on gender, age, and region, although they are not as significant as those that are based on party affiliation. Women tend to think that the pandemic is not over more than men (78% to 64%), young adults (from 18-36 years) are slightly more likely to think the pandemic is not over than the rest of adults, and people in the Northeast are more likely to think this as well.
The partisan differences between the respondents are quite striking, showing how politics plays a vital role in every aspect of American life. This data also comes as polls have shown how Republicans are more likely than Democrats to refuse to take a vaccine, with a KFF poll showing that almost half of respondents who were unvaccinated classified themselves as Republicans, in contrast to 29% of Democrats.
The pandemic upended the world last year, and it is still causing huge damage, but the successful vaccination rollout of the U.S has brought the country much closer to normalcy. However, even if a substantial majority of Americans agree that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, political affiliation still plays a significant factor in the way that Americans view the COVID pandemic.