Jun 30, 2020 - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: Fearing fireworks and flower girls

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Fourth of July celebrations and summer weddings are the latest triggers of American anxiety in this week's installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: Summer's arrival is coinciding with surges in new virus cases around the country. That's putting a damper on national pastimes as people reconcile how to protect their families while celebrating ritual and tradition.

  • 78% say attending a July 4 celebration this year would be a large or moderate risk, and 83% say indoor weddings carry a large or moderate risk, in Week 15 of our national survey.
  • Outdoor weddings are seen as a safer alternative to indoor ceremonies or receptions— but as moderately risky gatherings nonetheless.
  • Seven in 10 see summer vacations as risky, and the intensity in their fear is rising.
  • Attending protests, rallies or demonstrations is still seen as riskier than any of these.

What they're saying: "We won't know until it happens exactly how much it affects behavior, but I think this is a leading indicator this may be a seriously dampened or toned down Fourth of July," says Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs.

  • "The coronavirus took the fun out of everything," Young says. "People are assessing their risk level independent of the relative importance of the event."
  • "People are looking around, saying maybe it's not going to return to normal so fast. I think it's setting in that we're in this thing for the long haul. Everything we do is adjusted."

Between the lines: Democrats, women and people over 65 are more likely to feel risky about gathering for "I dos" and Independence Day, while Republicans, men and adults younger than 30 are less likely to worry.

  • Nine in 10 Democrats — but only 65% of Republicans — think July 4 events carry a large or moderate risk combined.
  • Women are more intensely worried than men: 48% of women and 41% of men assess July 4 events as a large risk.
  • Just 41% of young people worry about outdoor weddings compared with 60% of seniors.

The big picture: As awareness has set in in red states as well as blue states about the surging case numbers, people are tempering their experiments around re-engaging in general.

  • 53% now say they wear a mask at all times when leaving the home, a survey high. Another 30% say they wear one sometimes.
  • 45% visited friends and relatives, down from 49% the week before.
  • 37% now see a large risk with returning to their normal pre-coronavirus lives, up from 30% a week ago.
  • 27% say attending gatherings of friends and family outside of home is a large risk, the highest share in a month.
  • 42% worked from home or remotely last week. That was a return to the pattern of several previous weeks, after a brief drop to 37% last week that suggested some people were experimenting with returning to offices or on-site meetings.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted June 26-29 by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,065 general population adults age 18 or older.

  • The margin of sampling error is ±3.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.
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