Back in early March 2020, when COVID-19 was contained to only a handful of hotspots around the United States, the majority of Americans reported being somewhere between “NOT VERY” and “NOT AT ALL” worried about infection. In April 2020, as numbers spike and news cycles covered the pandemic 24/7, the fear ratios flipped almost entirely, with over 70% of Americans reporting being somewhere between 70-75% either “VERY” or “SOMEWHAT worried about infection.
October and November 2020 the numbers declined a bit, as “SOMEWHAT” remained steady as the most common emotion, with “VERY” declining slightly.
But because of two holiday spikes following Thanksgiving and Christmas, over 35% of Americans now report being “VERY” worried about infection, with that number increasing throughout all of December 2020.
While many Americans are more worried than ever about COVID-19 infection, many more are now growing tired of COVID-19 quarantine policies.
From The Atlantic reporting:
#StayHome had its moment. The United States urgently needed to flatten the curve and buy time to scale up health-care capacity, testing, and contact tracing. But quarantine fatigue is real. I’m not talking about the people who are staging militaristic protests against the supposed coronavirus hoax. I’m talking about those who are experiencing the profound burden of extreme physical and social distancing. In addition to the economic hardship it causes, isolation can severely damage psychological well-being, especially for people who were already depressed or anxious before the crisis started. In a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly half of Americans said that the coronavirus pandemic has harmed their mental health.
While modern technology might be helping those feeling isolated, there is a clear distinction between a video call in a bedroom and an in-person social hangout in a busy public place.
The good news is as vaccines rollout in 2021, it likely won’t be necessary for as many people to choose social isolation in order to limit risk exposure to COVID-19.