A new Gallup poll shed some light on what Americans plan to do once stay-at-home orders and other coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
A full 80% of Americans polled said they would not immediately go back to their normal activities when the government lifts restrictions that were intended to slow the spread of the virus, Gallup found in a new poll.
71% said they would wait to see if the virus resurges before resuming normal activities, while another 10% said they would wait indefinitely, Gallup reported.
Republicans were slightly more likely (31%) to say they would resume normal activities, but otherwise the numbers were fairly consistent across gender, race, location (city vs. rural) and employment status.
It’s clear that the media has managed to thoroughly scare most Americans about this virus, and that it will take some time for them to realize that the latest model forecasts no more deaths than a severe flu year, about 60,000. And even that may be too high at this point. That’s not to say that there isn’t any danger – a second wave is a real threat. But so is another great depression.
Now that deaths and new cases both seem to have peaked and begun to decline, state governors, the Trump administration and the coronavirus task force have begun to discuss how and when to re-open the economy and reverse restrictions on non-essential businesses that have crippled the economy.
Health experts have said that mitigations like social distancing and wearing masks may still need to continue even after limits on group sizes and gatherings end, however.
In addition, older Americans and those with chronic health conditions may be advised to continue to isolate themselves after other restrictions are lifted, since they are at highest risk for complications if they are infected with the coronavirus.
It will take time
All that being said, the sooner governments re-open the economy, the sooner people’s fears can dissipate. Relative normalcy will return as soon as people see that numbers aren’t surging and it is really safe to go back to work, to the movies, and maybe even to baseball games after a short period of time.
New reports that up to 50% of the population may have had the virus already could keep new infection numbers down, which will give confidence to Americans and help end the hysteria faster.
In other words, this poll should not be used as a justification for waiting longer to remove restrictions, but as a reason to do it as soon as humanly possible.