With the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic on their minds, Americans seem ready to return to normal life and are happy with the rollout of various vaccines, according to the Monmouth University Poll.
One in five (21%) Americans think a sense of normalcy will return by the Summer, with 40% anticipating normalcy by the end of the year. Only 27% said it would take longer than that and 9% pessimistic the country would never return to normal.
Additionally, worry regarding family members getting sick with the coronavirus have dropped sharply in recent weeks. Only 40% were very concerned and 28% somewhat concerned that a family member would get seriously ill. Forty-seven percent of respondents were very concerned in September 2020, topping out at 60% in January.
“Public optimism is mixed as we clock one year of living with the pandemic,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. “The wider availability of vaccines seems to have alleviated some immediate concerns about falling ill that had grown through the end of last year.”
Good Marks for Vaccine Rollout
Monmouth University found the majority of Americans were generally satisfied with the vaccine rollout: 18% reported being very satisfied while 42% where somewhat satisfied.
Interestingly, the 60% approval rating was in contrast with a Project Ready-commissioned Change Research survey which found 59% of New Jersey voters viewed the vaccine rollout negatively.
On the national front, 24% of Americans argued they would never get the vaccine if they could avoid it, with another 21% cautiously waiting for others to receive the vaccine and to determine potential side effects.
Sixteen percent of Americans surveyed already received the vaccine; an additional 38% were ready to do so once they were allowed to.
Public Awareness of COVID-19 Sound
Fifty-seven percent of Americans were aware the number of new coronavirus cases had been decreasing over the past few weeks, but a significant portion of the population seemed unaware of the current statistics.
Monmouth University found 23% of survey respondents believed this number had remained the same, with 12% believing it was on the rise.
One in five thought the recent decline of the virus was due to the availability of the vaccines, while 30% said not much or none of the decline was due to vaccinations. In fact, 28% of the public argued the recent drop of infections would have happened anyway without the vaccines.