According to a new Axios-Ipsos poll most U.S. adults are concerned about the rise of the Delta variant across the nation but that doesn’t change their behaviour.
The poll conducted between June 25th-28th among 1,065 U.S. adults found that about 48% of respondents were somewhat familiar with the new Delta variant, with 36% having heard of it but knowing nothing about it. The poll also revealed that among those familiar with the variant, 72% were either very or somewhat concerned, including 92% of Democrats and 50% of Republicans.
The Delta variant has accounted for an estimated 20% of all COVID-19 cases recorded in the United States in the last week and is soon expected to become the dominant variant according to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. Around the world the variant has caused a surge in cases, with some countries reimposing restrictions or delaying lockdown liftings. In Australia, Sydney has started a new 2-week lockdown because of a surge, in Russia a new daily covid death record was hit partly because of the variant and in the UK the government delayed the lifting of restrictions.
However, despite the variant sending some countries into further lockdowns, the U.S. is on track to return to normal behaviour and Americans aren’t changing their behaviour. The poll found that 55% of people said they wear their masks all or some of the time when outside their home, that’s the lowest number since polling began in April of 2020. The percentage of respondents who said they were socially distancing in the past week fell to 34%, that’s 10 points lower than the start of the week.
And with the July 4th celebrations up and coming, around 59% believe they pose little or no risk, down from 71% who believed they posed a risk in 2020. In the event of a new spike in cases in their local area, respondents were unlikely to take further precautions: 34% said they would quarantine, 57% said they would stop gathering with friends and family and half would curb non-grocery shopping trips.
Public health officials have also warned that the variant is likely to cause “dense outbreaks” in many areas where vaccination rates remain low, including many southern states like Mississippi and Alabama. Despite the rise of the Delta variant a poll conducted by Yahoo found that just 15% of unvaccinated Americans said that the dangers of Delta has encouraged them to receive a covid vaccine, were as 10% of the same unvaccinated group said that Delta’s rise has actually decreased the likelihood of them being vaccinated.
ARTICLE: NATHAN REID
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: HARVARD GAZETTE