A new benchmark in our perception of COVID’s waning threat

One in three Americans now say they believe COVID is a very low risk to them, personally, according to the Ipsos Consumer Tracker. Two years ago, only 10% of Americans said the same.

The author(s)
  • Matt Carmichael What the Future editor and head of the Ipsos Trends and Foresight Lab
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The Ipsos Consumer Tracker asks Americans questions about culture, the economy and the forces that shape our lives. Here's one thing we learned this week.

Chart showing a record high number see COVID as a very low threat

Why we asked: As we acknowledge the start of the fifth year of our humble tracker and therefore the fifth year of COVID times, we revisit the very first question from the very first wave. We also asked about how certain or uncertain people were feeling.

What we found: This question kicked off the Tracker and is one of the most-asked over its four-plus years. It has bounced around as waves of the pandemic ebbed and flowed. But it hit a new benchmark this wave, with one in three Americans saying the pandemic currently poses a very low threat. Overall, that gets us up to six in ten (59%) saying it’s a low threat, compared to just 12% now saying it’s a high or very high threat. But what does the CDC say? Well, caveats about how fewer people are getting tested these days, hospital admissions are about as low as they have ever been and deaths are trending downward. All of which is great news, of course. But note I say trending down (not gone), lest we forget that there are still more than 5,000 hospitalized at any given point.

In terms of certainty, now half of us say we have no uncertainty. Of course, that means that half still have some certainty in their decisions. But the number of those saying they have a lot of uncertainty or “are stuck” has dropped greatly since the pandemic’s early days.

Chart showing that few people face uncertainty at this phase in the COVID pandemic

More insights from this wave of the Ipsos Consumer Tracker:

Eight in 10 Americans value their credit card rewards

More say they can save money as mixed bag of economic opinions continues

The Ipsos Care-o-Meter: What does America know about vs. what does America care about?

The author(s)
  • Matt Carmichael What the Future editor and head of the Ipsos Trends and Foresight Lab