The end of an era

This week we catalogue some of our experiences with COVID in five charts below.

The author(s)

  • Clifford Young President, US, Public Affairs
  • Sarah Feldman Senior Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs
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This week we closed out our regular polling with Axios on the coronavirus pandemic. Since March 2020, when the first lockdowns were getting underway, we’ve been working to understand the biggest forced behavioral change since World War II. During that time, we had to learn how to connect, work, and think in ways we hadn’t before. Our world looks very different than it did in March 2020.

What did we learn? In some ways, the pandemic put in stark relief just how politically divided our country is. The pandemic provided new ground to fight our partisan culture wars with devastating consequences. And, coming away from this experience, each side now has a different history even as COVID defined our reality for the past two and half years.

This week we catalogue some of our experiences with COVID in five charts below.

  1. Everyone knows someone. After nearly two and half years with COVID, our last wave of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Tracker finds that nearly everyone personally knows someone who has had COVID. This is our reality.image 1
  2. COVID fatigue. Americans are burnt out. After so many days, weeks, months, and years with COVID, everyday mask use fell below early pandemic levels. Still, Democrats remain four times more likely to wear masks all the time than Republicans. Even as the acute phase of the pandemic fades into the background, the partisan fault lines persist.image 2
  3. Two Americas. Because of these partisan divisions, not everyone agrees on the history that is being written about COVID. Most Republicans feel that COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions were never acceptable. Many Democrats disagree. This is a nation divided.image 3
  4. Vaccination nation. Once the vaccination campaign got underway in the spring of 2021, many Americans rolled up their sleeves to get the jab. The development and roll out of the vaccine for the novel coronavirus was historic. What was also historic was the dogged resistance to the vaccine. Partisanship played an important role at this turn of the pandemic.image 4
  5. The death toll. Over one million people were lost to the virus, a staggering number. Hundreds in the U.S. and thousands around the world are still dying of the virus. While COVID is by no means over, thankfully far fewer are dying. Though, the loss and devastation COVID caused can’t be forgotten.image 5

As the public reacted and adapted to what it meant to live with COVID, we gave voice to these experiences with this research. That meant putting a mirror to the ways partisanship has divided the country at this historic and critical juncture. What that means for our future is still being written, and we will continue to work to track that.

The author(s)

  • Clifford Young President, US, Public Affairs
  • Sarah Feldman Senior Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs

Society