Americans Agree: Most Say ‘Worst’ of the Pandemic Is ‘Behind Us’

Women in Business Attire Standing Together Throwing Their Masks Away
Gustavo Fring from Pexels

Most Americans are in agreement that the “worst” of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic is “behind us,” a YouGov/TheEconomist survey found.

The survey asked respondents to indicate where they believe the world is in terms of the pandemic.

Most, 57 percent, said they believe the “worse part of the pandemic is behind us,” compared to just 13 percent who said “the pandemic is going to get worse.” Another seven percent said “we are currently in the worst part of the pandemic,” and 23 percent said they are unsure.

A YouGov/TheEconomist survey in early February that asked the same question indicates that Americans’ perceptions are improving positively. In February, 44 percent expressed the belief that the “worst part of the pandemic is behind us,” followed by 22 percent who were unsure. Two categories that have dropped significantly in just two months are the seventeen percent who believed the pandemic was “going to get worse,” and the 16 percent who believed the U.S. was “currently in the worst part of the pandemic.”

Perhaps most surprising is the fact that opinions do not differ too drastically along party lines. Three quarters of Republicans say the worst of the pandemic is “behind us,” as do most independents, 59 percent, and a plurality of Democrats, 48 percent. Just 15 percent of Democrats, 12 percent of independents, and nine percent of Republicans believe the pandemic is “going to get worse” at this point. 

The survey was taken April 9-12, 2022, among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens and comes as Americans attempt to return to a state of maskless, restrictionless pre-pandemic normalcy. While that is happening at the state level — at least mask-wise, as there are currently no statewide mask mandates in place — the Biden administration has failed, time and time again, to finally lift the federal mask requirement for public transportation, extending the rule yet again, forcing people to mask up for at least another two weeks beyond April 18. 

Meanwhile, Philadelphia this week became the first major city to reintroduce a mask mandate, moving from its “Level 1: All Clear”  to “Level 2: Mask Precautions,” forcing individuals to mask up in public places again. 

The rule goes into effect Monday, April 18, and it remains unclear if other major cities will follow suit if they, too, see a slight uptick in cases. 


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