Poll: Most Americans Expect Life To Return To Normal By End Of 2021 Or Later

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Olivia Ingrassia Contributor
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A majority of Americans expect life to return to normal by the end of 2021 or later, according to a new Monmouth University poll released Monday.

Upon being surveyed about expectations for when the country will get the COVID-19 outbreak under control and life will get back to normal, 40% of Americans said they expect a return to normalcy before the end of the year. Another 27% predict this will occur sometime after this year is over. 

In addition, 21% of Americans — down from 29% in January — believe that a return to normalcy will come as early as this summer, while only 9% of the respondents feel that life in this country will never return to a pre-covid normal. 

Furthermore, the poll showed that 40% of Americans, down from 60% in January, are still “very concerned” about having a family member become seriously ill from the virus, and 28% are somewhat concerned.

This poll comes as the rollout of vaccines continues across the United States, with three approved vaccines now widely available. In addition, nearly one year since the COVID-19 lockdown began, some governors have announced plans to loosen their states’ lockdown restrictions and lift mask mandates. 

The CDC also announced Monday that while they still must wear masks and follow public guidelines, those who have been fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear masks or practice physical distancing when indoors with each other.  (RELATED: More Americans Now Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Than Have Been Confirmed Infected)

“Public optimism is mixed as we clock one year of living with the pandemic. The wider availability of vaccines seems to have alleviated some immediate concerns about falling ill that had grown through the end of last year,” director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, Patrick Murray, stated. “However, most Americans feel that ‘normal’ is still many months away and perhaps a little farther down the road than initially hoped for during Biden’s first days in office.”

The poll also revealed that a majority of Americans have been generally satisfied with the rollout of COVID vaccines, with a positive overall satisfaction, with 69% of Democrats, 58% of Republicans and 54% of Independents approving. 

Most Americans have also either been vaccinated already, 16%, or plan to be once they meet the availability requirements, 38%. However, the poll found that 21% of Americans would prefer to wait and see the results of the vaccine once others take it first, and 24% of respondents said if they can avoid it, they will opt to never take the vaccine. Of those who wish to avoid the vaccine, 36% are Republicans, 31% are Independents, and 6% are Democrats. 

“Partisanship has always been the main dividing line on the pandemic. A new challenge for the Biden administration is the possibility of more independents joining Republicans in becoming vaccine skeptics,” Murray said.

Finally, the poll found that 60% of Americans remain confident in President Biden’s ability to bring the country back on track, which was down from 71% at the beginning of his presidency. Still, 57% have been reported as saying he has done a good job at handling the crisis, with only 31% giving him a negative rating, up from 23% in late January. (RELATED: Senate Passes $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill)

The poll was conducted from February 25 to March 1, 2021 via telephone, and had a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.