Pandemic worry is the “highest it has been since last winter, before COVID-19 vaccines were readily available to the general public,” according to a Gallup poll released on Thursday.
Out of 1,569 U.S. adults polled between January 13-14, 50 percent are worried about contracting coronavirus, up 12 points from Gallup’s last reading in late November and early December. The trend coincides with a spike in omicron variant infections and is similar to last July, when survey respondents’ worry increased as the delta variant spread.
“The hopefulness Americans felt last spring after the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines was first dashed over the summer by the delta variant, then recovered briefly as cases subsided, and is now being crushed by omicron,” according to the survey, which has a margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.
Along party lines, worry about catching coronavirus among Democrats, independents, and people who are vaccinated has “risen by double digits.” Worry among Republicans and unvaccinated adults has increased as well, though they reportedly “remain among the least worried about infection.”
Be very afraid, peasants! https://t.co/FETwJ4FVac
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) January 12, 2022
More Americans also said they got vaccinated when worry spiked during the delta surge, according to the report.
“Such an increase in vaccinations has not been seen in the latest data,” the survey found.
Fifty-eight percent of U.S. adults say the pandemic is worsening, along with 20 percent who say its improving and 22 percent who think it is staying the same.Last summer, as vaccinations against coronavirus rose, four out of 5 of those polled believed the pandemic was improving. However, the spread of the delta variant sent that figure crashing to 15 percent, Gallup found.
“By October, with infections from the delta variant waning, a slim 51 percent majority once again thought the situation was improving,” according to the report. “However, as news of the omicron strain’s emergence in Africa began to circulate in November, Americans became more concerned, and the percentage saying the situation was improving fell 20 percentage points. The latest reading is down an additional 11 points.”