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Poll Shows How Many Americans Want to 'Accept' COVID-19 and Get on with Their Lives

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Since the beginning of the pandemic, several lawmakers have implemented and rescinded measures such as mask mandates and proof of vaccination to enter indoor businesses. A new poll released this week shows how many Americans want to accept coronavirus as a part of life and get on with their lives.

A poll published Monday by the Monmouth University Polling Institute shows that the vast majority of Americans say it's time to "accept" COVID-19 as part of life. Fully seven in ten Americans agree with this sentiment. Additionally, 78 percent of those who report having had COVID-19 and 65 percent of those who have not had COVID-19 feel this way.

Broken down by political party, 89 percent of Republicans, 71 percent of independents, and 47 percent of Democrats feel that "it's time to accept that Covid is here to stay and we just need to get on with our lives." Only about one-third of the public, 34 percent, feel that the country will get the outbreak under control and return to normal by the end of 2022. Twenty-eight percent of respondents believe a return to normalcy will never happen, up from 22 percent in September and 6 percent one year ago.

"Americans' worries about Covid haven't gone away. It seems more to be a realization that we are not going to get this virus under control in a way that we thought was possible just last year," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, in the poll write-up.

Out of all the respondents, four in ten report that they had COVID-19 or think that they had it since the pandemic began. Twenty-seven percent said their infection was confirmed with a positive test. About one-third, 36 percent, of respondents who are vaccinated reported being infected with COVID-19 but did not specify if the infection occurred before or after they got vaccinated. Sixty-one percent of unvaccinated respondents said they had been infected with the virus.

Nearly half of American respondents, 45 percent, reported getting a booster shot. Over one-third, 37 percent "remain unlikely" to do so. This includes 17 percent who did not get vaccinated initially.

"A key factor in the public's inclination to accept having to live with Covid is the intransigence of a sizable segment of the population on vaccination. It seems unlikely that herd immunity could ever be achieved through preventative measures," said Murray.

The poll write-up noted that there "appears to be an acknowledgment that federal measures have not been effective."

"Ratings for how both the president and federal health agencies have handled the pandemic continue to slip," the write-up continued. "Just 43% say Biden has done a good job on this while 53% say he has done a bad job – the first time his rating on this metric has been underwater since he took office." 

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