That’s down significantly from the 67% who said so during a Gallup poll taken in late March and early April.
In fact, we’re looking at some of the worst coronavirus numbers in a long time, and, unlike earlier this year, it’s not clear at all that there is the public will to do what’s necessary to slow down the rate of infection.
This rising positivity rate came even as the number of tests climbed compared to two months ago, which should lower the positivity rate if the number of cases is remaining static.
Indeed, it’s not just cases and testing that’s up nationally. The number of deaths and hospitalizations are up over 33%, according to the Times.
We are, to put it mildly, in a world of trouble.
Yet it doesn’t seem like the American public or the electorate has anywhere near the same yearning that we did in April to do what can be done to keep the virus at bay.
It’s not just that less than a majority of Americans are unwilling to say they’re “very likely” to shelter in place. It’s that they’re currently not isolating. A clear majority (62%) said they were only partially isolated or not isolated at all in Gallup’s late October poll. The percentage was half that (30%) in April.
And while 46% of Americans said they haven’t started making holiday plans yet, those who have are split fairly evenly between planning to celebrate among their immediate family and people they live with (30%) and with those outside this select group (24%).
Perhaps what’s most worrisome is that these poll numbers are coming against a backdrop of Americans seeming to realize the country is on the wrong path with how we’re handling the virus.
Most (61%) told Gallup that the coronavirus situation is getting worse. A mere 23% think it’s getting better, one of the lower percentages of the pandemic so far.
Despite Americans knowing we’re on the wrong trajectory, it hasn’t yet caused the type of change in habit that may be necessary to beat back the latest wave of cases.
Unless Americans change their tune quickly, things may get a lot worse regarding the virus.