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As media spins positive news, worry about Covid drops to record low

According to a new Gallup poll, worry about Covid has dropped to its lowest level since this time last year. Just 35 percent of all Americans surveyed from March 15 to 21 said they were concerned about getting the virus.

That number is significantly less than April of 2020 when 60 percent of respondents worried about catching the Covid virus which originated in China.

Since the last weeks of the Trump administration, the percentage of people worrying has continued to drop. The optimism could come from states that have opened up without an accompanying rise in Covid rates, increased vaccination, and less media hype about the disease which was prevalent during the Trump administration.

In addition, just 14 percent of the respondents told Gallup in March they were either very or moderately concerned about access to testing. Only 22 percent were very or moderately concerned about access to hospital and health services.

Optimism reached a record high in March when 77 percent of the respondents said that the situation was getting a little or a lot better. The number of those who thought the situation was getting a little or a lot worse dropped to a record low of 7 percent. In Democratic states like California and New York that both have significant restrictions, covid worry remains an issue.

Despite the lessening worry, a huge swath of Americans still say that the pandemic continues to cause at least a fair amount of disruption in their lives, according to the poll. Sixty-four percent, or nearly two in three Americans, said their lives were still disrupted, down slightly from 70 percent who said the same in February.

“Americans have become substantially less worried about contracting COVID as a growing proportion of adults have been fully vaccinated and as satisfaction with the vaccine rollout has improved. These shifts have occurred while coronavirus infection rates have fallen substantially from highs reached in January of this year,” RJ Reinhart wrote in a news release announcing the results of the poll.

“Optimism about the COVID-19 situation has also spiked to a record high,” Reinhart added. “Gallup previously observed a meaningful relationship between Americans’ perceptions of the coronavirus situation and changes in reported numbers of daily new cases.”

Political pundits and media watchdog groups noted a significant shift in media narratives after the inauguration of Joe Biden. Overnight, reporting became more positive concerning deaths and treatments. They say the shift in news focus likely drove more positive views towards the Biden administration’s handling of the pandemic.

–Wire services