Survey Shows Declining Concerns Among Americans About COVID-19

The latest Pew Research Center survey finds that only 10 percent of Americans are concerned they will catch the disease and need hospitalization.
Survey Shows Declining Concerns Among Americans About COVID-19
Aldgra Fredly

A new survey found that only one in five Americans now view the coronavirus as “a major threat” to the health of the U.S. population, indicating a sharp decline from a high of 67 percent in July 2020.

The Pew Research Center survey, conducted among 10,133 Americans from Feb. 7 to Feb. 11, showed that only 10 percent of people are concerned they will catch the disease and require hospitalization.

“This data represents a low ebb of public concern about the virus that reached its height in the summer and fall of 2020, when as many as two-thirds of Americans viewed COVID-19 as a major threat to public health,” it stated. The survey results were published on March 7.

Half of the participants recognize the significance of medical researchers and health care providers understanding and treating long COVID, according to the survey results.

However, around 27 percent of participants consider this issue less important, and 22 percent of Americans report being unaware of long COVID.

Partisanship continues to be “one of the most powerful factors” shaping Americans’ views about COVID-19 vaccines and the virus, according to the survey.

The gap between the shares of Democrats and Republicans who regard COVID-19 as a major threat to public health has dropped from 37 percentage points in May 2022 to 16 points this year.

“In the pandemic’s first year, Democrats were routinely about 40 points more likely than Republicans to view the coronavirus as a major threat to the health of the U.S. population. This gap has waned as overall levels of concern have fallen,” it stated.

The survey found that three in ten Democrats under 50 have received an updated COVID-19 vaccine, compared with 66 percent of Democrats ages 65 and older.

Moreover, 66 percent of Democrats ages 65 and older have received the updated COVID-19 vaccine, while only 24 percent of Republicans ages 65 and older have done so.

“This 42-point partisan gap is much wider now than at other points since the start of the outbreak. For instance, in August 2021, 93 percent of older Democrats and 78 percent of older Republicans said they had received all the shots needed to be fully vaccinated (a 15-point gap),” it noted.

COVID-19 No Longer an Emergency

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued its updated recommendations for the virus, which no longer require people to stay home for five days after testing positive for COVID-19.

The updated guidance recommends that people who contracted a respiratory virus stay home, and they can resume normal activities when their symptoms improve overall and their fever subsides for 24 hours without medication.

“We still must use the commonsense solutions we know work to protect ourselves and others from serious illness from respiratory viruses, this includes vaccination, treatment, and staying home when we get sick,” CDC director Dr. Mandy Cohen said in a statement.

The CDC said that while the virus remains a threat, it is now less likely to cause severe illness because of widespread immunity and improved tools to prevent and treat the disease.

“Importantly, states and countries that have already adjusted recommended isolation times have not seen increased hospitalizations or deaths related to COVID-19,” it stated.

The federal government suspended its free at-home COVID-19 test program on March 8, according to a website set up by the government, following a decrease in COVID-19-related hospitalizations.

According to the CDC, hospitalization rates for COVID-19 and influenza diseases remain “elevated” but are decreasing in some parts of the United States.