After months of hope, Americans' optimism about the Covid-19 pandemic is on the decline. A poll released Monday shows overwhelming pessimism, the first since January, as the delta variant continues its drive for cases and hospitalizations across the country.
Many cities and counties in the United States have reimposed restrictions like mask mandates. AFP via Getty Images
The Key Facts
A Gallup survey of almost 3,500 adults revealed that more people believe the US' coronavirus situation is getting worse (45%), rather than improving (40%). This is a major shift from June's record 89% who believed that the pandemic was improving and only 3% thought it was getting worse. This is the first time since January that Americans have been more pessimistic about the Covid-19 pandemic. During most of 2020, optimism outnumbered pessimism. With all their hopes dashed by the coronavirus, an overwhelming majority of Americans (83%) expect social disruptions due to the virus to last at least through the end of the year. 42% predict they will continue into 2022. In contrast, only half of Americans polled in June predicted that pandemic-related disruptions to society would last for a few weeks or months.
The peak of 73% that Covid-19 reached in November 2020 is still far away from pessimism. The country was experiencing a dramatic increase in cases, which led to the worst period of the pandemic. The number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths is still far below what they were last winter.
The highly contagious delta variant of the virus has caused a rapid rise in hospitalizations and cases. This led many cities and counties across the U.S., after having eased restrictions earlier in the pandemic. The majority of people who are hospitalized or die from Covid-19 are not vaccinated. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has shared new data that raises concerns about the spread of the virus among vaccinated individuals. Friday's CDC study found that 74% of patients in a recent Massachusetts outbreak of the delta variant were among vaccinated individuals. They also had higher viral loads than unvaccinated persons who were infected.
New Orleans: The Newest City to Reinstate the Mask Mandate. See full list (Forbes).
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