Only 24% of Americans 'very' or 'extremely' worried about a family member catching Covid in February

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Only 24% of Americans are'very' or'extremely' worried (dark green) about themselves or a family member catching Covid, an AP-NORC survey finds

Only 24% of Americans are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ worried (dark green) about themselves or a family member catching Covid, an AP-NORC survey finds

Americans’ level of fear surrounding Covid is reaching one of its lowest points since the start of last year, as plummeting case numbers have Americans prepared to move on from the pandemic.

According to The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey in February, only 24 percent of Americans are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ worried about a themselves or a family member catching COVID-19.

This is a drop of a third from the 36% of Americans that reported severe fears in January, and the lowest figure since June 2021, when case numbers had been declining for months amid a successful vaccine rollout.

Just over one out of every three survey respondents, 34 percent, answered that they were ‘somewhat’ worried about Covid.

The results come as Covid cases and hospitalizations plummet across the U.S., and officials begin to roll back mask and vaccine orders in a bid to ‘return to normal’.

The survey was conducted from February 18 to 21 and included a sample of 1,289 U.S. adults from around the nation.  

The February survey shows a 33% drop in American worried about the pandemic, and it is the fourth month over the past two years where less than 25% of Americans showed a lot of concern about Covid

The February survey shows a 33% drop in American worried about the pandemic, and it is the fourth month over the past two years where less than 25% of Americans showed a lot of concern about Covid

It has been conducted nearly every month since Covid first found its way into American life in February 2020.

Only in four months have less than 25 percent of Americans felt ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ worried about the pandemic.

One was February 2020, when Covid was still mainly something happening overseas and had not yet affected the average America.

The next two were in April and June of 2021 – May was skipped for the survey – when the COVID-19 vaccine rollout was gaining momentum and vaccine uptake was at its highest.

During this period, case and death figures were hitting low points, and consistently dropping for months. It seemed like the pandemic was going to end until the Delta variant made its way stateside in late July.

Now, fears are dropping again as Americans once again can sense that the ‘return to normal’ could be around the corner.

The AP-NORC poll also found that only 48 percent of Americans are ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ worried about spread of the virus in the country, down from 65 percent during the peak of the Delta surge in September. 

Less than half of Americans consider the spread of infectious disease a direct threat to the U.S., a far fall from the peak of 65% in September 2021

Less than half of Americans consider the spread of infectious disease a direct threat to the U.S., a far fall from the peak of 65% in September 2021

The U.S. is averaging 71,247 new cases every day, a 20 percent drop over the past week and a 90 percent drop from the Omicron variant’s mid-January peak of 800,000 cases per day.

Hospitalizations with Covid have dropped 44 percent over the last 14 days, with under 50,000 Americans receiving treatment testing per day.

As of Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now considers hospitalizations and hospital capacity as the most important figures when calculating community Covid risk.

Cratering Covid case numbers and hospitalizations, combined with the more mild nature of the now-dominant Omicron COVID-19 variant, has many hopeful that the virus will soon transition from its pandemic phase to an endemic phase.

Despite falling case numbers nationwide, 50% of Americans still support mask orders. Those in support of mask requirements are most likely to be Democrats or vaccinated

Despite falling case numbers nationwide, 50% of Americans still support mask orders. Those in support of mask requirements are most likely to be Democrats or vaccinated

Nearly every U.S. state has lifted mask orders, or has laid out plans to do so, in recent weeks, and cities like New York are now following by doing the same. Pictured: People in Times Square, in New York City, New York, wear masks on January 25

Nearly every U.S. state has lifted mask orders, or has laid out plans to do so, in recent weeks, and cities like New York are now following by doing the same. Pictured: People in Times Square, in New York City, New York, wear masks on January 25

Many local officials are starting to move on from the pandemic as well. 49 of 50 U.S. states have either relaxed or removed mask mandates, or have a set date to do so in the near future. 

Masks in schools are starting to be removed as well, with New York City – a state with some of the strictest Covid mandates over the past two years – even scheduling face covering orders to be lifted on March 7.

Despite falling cases and the lifting of mask orders, Americans are split on the mandates. 

The survey finds that 50 percent of Americans either ‘strongly’ or ‘somewhat’ favor Americans being required to wear masks in public.

Only 28 percent of respondents said they either ‘somewhat’ or ‘strongly’ opposed these mask orders. 

Those in favor of mask orders are significantly more likely to be Democrats – 77 percent of surveyed Democrats support mask requirements –  or vaccinated – 57 percent.

This attitude could be attributed to Americans having been in this situation before.

During spring of 2021 many were also hopeful that Covid was ending, only for the nation to be overwhelmed by the Delta variant.

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