Growing number of Americans are back to pre-pandemic life

New poll shows number nearly tripled from January 2022 to July 2022
mask
Photo credit Getty Images
By , KYW Newsradio and Audacy

More than half of all Americans know someone who has died of COVID-19, according to a new poll by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at Penn. However, at the same time, a growing number of Americans are back to a “normal” lifestyle.

There’s been a huge increase in the number of people who say they’re already there, from 16% in January 2022 to 41% in July 2022.

“Across the experience of a much more contagious variant but lower levels of death and hospitalizations, those people have calibrated the risks and benefits and said, ‘I’m willing to take the risks. The benefits of going back to normal are worth it to me,’” said the Annenberg Public Policy Center director Kathleen Hall Jamieson.

This is the third time since January that the Annenberg Public Policy Center has surveyed when people expect to go back to pre-COVID-19 normal. The number who say “never” remains around 20%, and there’s another 20% who see a return to normal as more than a year away.

The poll also shows that a majority now say they don’t wear masks indoors.
“That’s troubling because you can make your own risk calculations, but you can’t make the risk calculations about everyone around you,” said Jamieson. “You don’t know what all the factors are.”

The survey found that men who identify themselves as conservative are more likely to have dropped indoor masks and gone back to normal, while women who lean Democrat and are over 65 are most likely to say they’re not back to normal.

Jamieson says public health officials need to do a better job of explaining the need for indoor masking. She adds there also needs to be better education about Paxolovid – a COVID-19 treatment – but 80% of those surveyed had little or no familiarity with it.

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