Over the past year, Americans across the country have been subject to strict lockdown measures and mask mandates imposed as part of an effort to control COVID-19, which has infected nearly 30 million people and killed more than 520,000 in the U.S. alone, according to The New York Times.
Now, however, new polling suggests that most Americans think this nightmare is finally be coming to an end.
The Hill reported Thursday that a survey conducted by Navigator Research found 54% of registered voters believe “the worst is over” when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, just 23% of respondents expressed a belief that “the worst is yet to come.” Another 23% were reportedly undecided.
According to Navigator Research, the results are significant, because they represent the first time that a clear majority of Americans has said that the worst of the pandemic is now behind them.
Of course, perceptions vary by party affiliation, as the research firm noted, but it also said Democrats, Republicans, and independents are all showing increased optimism.
“Over the past two months, the share saying ‘the worst is over’ in the pandemic has increased by 35 points among Democrats (from 15% to 50%), 23 [points] among independents (22% to 45%), and 24 [points] among Republicans (36% to 60%),” Navigator Research’s report stated.
Still, a widespread feeling that “we shouldn’t put our guards down now” reportedly remains, with 44% of Republicans, 54% of independents, and 81% of Democrats agreeing with that sentiment.
The research firm also said that there has been an upswing in approval of the vaccine distribution process among Americans. “As more report knowing someone who has been or have personally been vaccinated [for COVID-19] themselves, there has been a double-digit increase in the share who approve of the rollout,” Navigator Research said.
Notably, approval of the rollout of vaccines to fight against COVID-19 also seems to break down along party lines, with 33% of Republicans having a positive view of the Biden administration’s track record, compared to a whopping 94% of Democrats.
Feelings about the economy were less upbeat, as just 32% of those surveyed said they believed the U.S. economy is “getting better.” Thirty-four percent saw no signs of improvement, while another 32% thought the economy was remaining about the same as the pandemic winds down, according to the poll.
While we may not be out of the woods just yet when it comes to the coronavirus, it certainly seems Americans are feeling more optimistic now than they have in months. At long last.