Americans may want to get back to normal in the wake of the coronavirus, but according to polling a large majority want certain standards to be met, including mandatory quarantine for people with the virus, a drop in cases and deaths, and a vaccine to help prevent the disease – even if a vaccine never materializes.
Gallup found that 80 percent want people who test positive for the virus to face mandatory quarantine, 77 percent want effective treatment, 73 percent want “a significant reduction in the number of cases or deaths,” and 68 percent want a vaccine to be available.
Some 61 percent said that widespread testing and a protocol to “monitor coronavirus infections are essential,” according to the poll.
Gallup reported on its poll:
While less than half think it is very important that four additional requirements be met before returning to normalcy, majorities say each is at least “somewhat” important. Among them are mandatory face masks in public areas, widespread contact tracing, lifting statewide stay-at-home or social distancing orders, and compulsory temperature checks to enter public buildings.
The most sizable gaps in Americans’ opinions about the importance of the various requirements measured by Gallup are seen by gender and party identification. In most cases, women are more likely than men to say each condition is a very important factor in their willingness to return to their normal activities.
A similar pattern is seen in partisans’ views of the importance of the factors. Democrats are far more likely than Republicans and independents to consider each requirement except the lifting of state government orders to be very important. Easing of state restrictions and mandatory temperature checks when entering public buildings are the only measures that less than a majority of Democrats consider very important. Democrats’ views of temperature checks may be attributable to privacy concerns.
Other findings include:
• Americans living in the Northeastern U.S. (55 percent), college graduates (52 percent), and those living in cities (55 percent) are more likely than their counterparts to say the use of face masks is very important.
• 73 percent of college graduates, 72 percent of city residents, and 70 percent of adults under 45 say the availability of widespread testing to identify and monitor those exposed to the virus is very important to them — significantly higher rates than their counterparts.
As some Americans around the country have begun to protest COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and the president is anxious to restart the economy, many governors are moving to lift restrictions in their states. Yet, governors in some of the areas hardest hit by COVID-19 are not yet ready to do so, and although Trump has outlined a graduated plan for reopening, some governors are being criticized for lifting restrictions before their state meets all of the criteria.
Gallup noted that views on how to get back to normal are “sharply polarized politically.”
The Gallup poll is based on self-administered web surveys conducted April 27-May 3, 2020, with a random sample of 4,553 U.S. adults, aged 18 and older who are members of the Gallup Panel.
“Gallup weighted the obtained samples to correct for nonresponse,” the report on methodology for the poll said. “Nonresponse adjustments were made by adjusting the sample to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education and region.”
Based on any individual sample, the poll has a margin of sampling error or plus or minus three percentage points.
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