Aug 9, 2022 - Health

Americans return to pre-pandemic life: survey

Illustration of a pattern of covid masks.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

More Americans personally know someone who's died from COVID-19 or has "long COVID" but are rapidly shunning masks and returning to their pre-pandemic lives, according to new data from the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

What they found: The survey of 1,580 adults, conducted as the BA.5 omicron subvariant surged and monkeypox cases multiplied, found 54% of respondents personally knew at least one person who died of the virus.

  • Nearly 1 in 3 (31%) know someone who experienced long COVID.
  • Most of the public knows someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated or being fully vaccinated and boosted.
  • Over half of those surveyed (53%) think it's likely an individual who is vaccinated but not boosted will contract COVID-19 in the next three months.

Yes, but: 54% said they rarely or never wear a mask indoors around people from outside their household, more than double the proportion in January.

  • 41% have already returned to their "normal, pre-COVID-19 life," compared to 16% who said they had done so in January.

Our thought bubble: The results are further evidence of how much Americans have moved past the pandemic and are likelier focused on inflation and making ends meet.

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