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Here’s How Americans’ Views About The Pandemic Are Starting To Shift


In the past few weeks, public views about some aspects of the coronavirus crisis have shifted, a set of new HuffPost/YouGov polling finds, with levels of concern and support for stay-at-home orders ticking down from record highs. A decisive majority of support for such orders remains, however, with Americans continuing to say they’re personally making an effort to stay home, and worried about reopening too quickly.

Results of HuffPost/YouGov polling on the coronavirus outbreak.



Results of HuffPost/YouGov polling on the coronavirus outbreak.

Americans’ concerns about coronavirus peaked in early April, when 58% said they were very worried about the virus’s spread in the U.S., and 46% said they were very concerned they or a family member would contract the disease. In the most recent survey, 47% say they’re very concerned by the outbreak nationally, and about a third are very concerned their family will be personally affected.

Perceptions of the federal response to the crisis have also leveled off. Americans’ net approval of the U.S. government’s handling of issues relating to coronavirus is now just +3, down from a high of +20 in late March. Their approval for Trump’s handling of such issues is effectively split at a net -1, down from +7 in March and April.

About two-thirds of Americans now say it’s currently the right decision for states to tell residents to stay at home unless they have an essential reason for going out, down from a high of 81% who said the same in early April. An 18% minority say it’s the wrong decision, up from a low of 8%.

Many Americans, however, continue to say that they, themselves aren’t ready to return to public life. An overwhelming 83% majority say they’re trying to stay home as much as possible, down only slightly from a high of 89% at the start of April. About 61% of people in the country, the poll finds, would try to stay home as much as possible even in the absence of any restrictions imposed in their area.

Just 19% of Americans say there are too many restrictions in place where they live, with about three-quarters saying their local restrictions are too weak or at the right level. And by a 38-point margin, they’re more concerned by states lifting restrictions too quickly than by their not doing so quickly enough ― a number that’s remained close to unchanged over the past three weeks.

Another thing that hasn’t changed: most Americans still expect the pandemic to have a continuing effect on American life. A 63% majority say they expect the outbreak to have a lasting effect on the country, with just 22% believing things will soon go back to normal.

Use the widget below to further explore the results of the HuffPost/YouGov survey, using the menu at the top to select survey questions and the buttons at the bottom to filter the data by subgroups:

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted May 1-3 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some but not all potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate.

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus



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