Americans are not as depressed over the coronavirus as the media might have us think. The latest Gallup poll says 34 percent of Americans surveyed this past weekend view the coronavirus situation as getting better, an improvement from just 25 percent who said it was getting better in an earlier April 6-9 survey.
In the most recent April 10-12 poll, 48 percent saw the situation as getting worse, but that is down from the 62 percent who held the “worse” view in the April 6-9 survey.
So although Americans remained more pessimistic than optimistic last weekend, their views are considerably improved from early April. Observers say part of the reason for the optimism is the leadership displayed by President Trump who has shown skill in bringing those who oppose him on other issues into his task force to combat the pandemic.
The generally more optimistic view of Americans coincides with a decline in coronavirus cases across the country in the past five or six days.
“Nine states have less than 1,000 cases and less than 30 new cases per day,” Dr. Deborah Birx told a news conference on Wednesday. Vice President Mike Pence told the same news conference that “half of the states in America have less than 2,500 cases per state.”
The same Gallup poll asked respondents, “How long do you think the level of disruption occurring to travel, school, work and public events in the U.S. will continue before it starts to improve?”
For the most recent April 10-12 interviewing period, 48 percent expect the disruptions to last a few more months, down from a peak of 59 percent in March 30-April 2 interviewing period.
But 27 percent expect the disruptions to last a few more weeks, up 7 points from the 19 percent who said “weeks” in the March 30-April 2 survey.
Twenty-seven percent believe the disruptions will continue longer than a few months.
Consistent with Republicans’ optimism about the COVID-19 situation, a majority — 52 percent — now think the disruption to daily life will last a few more weeks.
Just 9 percent of Democrats agree, with 52 percent of Democrats expecting disruptions to continue a few more months. Independents’ views were more similar to those of Democrats than Republicans,” Gallup said.
Another Gallup poll found that more Americans are worried about contracting coronavirus (57 percent) than about experiencing severe financial problems from the disruption caused by it (48 percent).
Women, city residents, and younger adults were most likely to fear illness. Gallup found that Democrats were twice as worried as Republicans about falling ill.