Poll: Nearly Half of Americans Do Not Expect Return to ‘Pre-Pandemic Normalcy’

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 13: People wear masks at an indoor mall in The Oculus in low
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Three years after the coronavirus pandemic began and authoritarianism strengthened around the world, nearly half of U.S. adults (47 percent) say they do not expect their lives to “return to pre-pandemic normalcy,” a Gallup News poll found.

That percentage was the same in October 2022 and is slightly down from July and August 2022 when 53 percent of U.S. adults said they do not expect their lives to return to the way they were before the pandemic. Results of the poll are based on self-administered web surveys conducted February 21-28 with 5,167 adults. The margin of error is ±2 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level:

The share of people who say life is completely back to normal has grown from 24 percent in July and August 2022 to 33 percent in February 2023. However, the share of people who say it is “not back to normal but will eventually be” has shrunk slightly in that same timeframe from 23 percent to 20 percent.

The survey found that attitudes related to the pandemic “diverge sharply and most significantly by partisanship.”

“Just as Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to perceive the pandemic is over, they are also more likely to say their own lives are completely back to normal,” according to the survey report.

Half of GOP voters say their lives have returned to normal, and 18 percent say they are not yet normal but will be eventually. One-third (33 percent) of Republicans say their lives will never return to normal, compared to 53 percent of Democrats who feel the same way. Nearly half (49 percent) of independent voters also say their lives have not been restored to pre-pandemic normalcy.

Gallup additionally found that perceptions about a return to normalcy “differ significantly” by sex and annual household income.

“Majorities of two typically Democratic-leaning groups — women and lower-income adults — say their lives will never be back to normal, while their counterparts are less likely to say as much,” according to the survey report.

More than half (51 percent) of women say their lives are not back to normal, compared to 42 percent of men. Those making less than $36,000 a year are more likely to report that their lives are not back to normal (55 percent), compared to those making $36,000-$90,000 (48 percent), and $90,000 or more (43 percent).


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.