April 28, 2021 – From the gloom of a COVID winter to a new reemergence and optimism, the contrast between January and April 2021 could not be starker.
Stories this week:
- Biden’s first 100 days (sneak peak)
- States where Americans most want to reopen now
- People who test positive for COVID-19 are the most hesitant about the vaccine
- One year living with the pandemic, Americans now see planes, mass transit as less risky
- Supernatural experience is not super abnormal
As President Joe Biden approaches the end of his first 100 days in office, the nation is at an inflection point, showing new signs of optimism about the post-pandemic future. Americans are eager to get back to pre-COVID activities, with a plurality saying that they plan to “immediately” begin to do the things they used to do when COVID restrictions lift.
At the same time that more Americans become restless to get back into the swing of things, the nation must grapple with the reality of tens of millions of Americans who are either skeptical of or indifferent to the coronavirus vaccine.
For a more in-depth look at Biden’s first 100 days, check out our full report here.
A majority of Americans want to allow businesses to open again, even if the pandemic is not yet fully under control.
But some areas of the country are more open to reopening than others. Northeasterners trend towards caution, with just 46% in agreement that economic activity should be permitted to pick up early, according to Ipsos-Forbes Advisor Consumer COVID tracker data. At the other end of the spectrum, 63% Americans living in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee favor allowing businesses to open straight away.
Desire to reopen is the inverse of acceptance to the vaccine – the more cautious states are about reopening, the more accepting they are of vaccines. The opposite is true across vaccine skepticism and eagerness to return to full economic activity.
Among people who report testing positive for COVID-19, one in four say they are not at all likely to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, analysis of Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus tracking data finds.
For Americans who have tested negative for COVID-19, only 15% report not wanting to get the vaccine at all.
At least for now, vaccine hesitancy appears strongly related to news source and partisanship, driving some of the differences among people who have tested positive for COVID and the untested when it comes to views on the vaccine. Democrats and mainstream news viewers are all more likely to have received a negative COVID-19 test than to have never been tested or received a positive test.
After over a year living with the pandemic, the share of Americans who view riding mass transit or planes as a large risk dropped by 40-points, Axios/Ipsos polling finds. At the height of lockdown last April, about three in four people (74%) saw traveling on planes or mass transit as a large risk. Now, only one in three (34%) see those same activities in the same light.
That doesn’t mean that Americans feel comfortable traveling with others. Only one in ten believe that there is no risk to their health and well-being when riding planes or mass transit right now. On the other hand, 55% of people believe riding mass transit or airplanes carries a small or moderate risk to their health and well-being.
While a lot has changed since 2006, one thing hasn’t: the number of people who felt or saw a ghost in their presence, with about one in four people both then and now reporting that experience, Ipsos polling finds.
These otherworldly, inexplicable occurrences among the public are not limited to ghosts. A strong minority of people (30%) both now and fifteen years ago woke up with the sense that there was a strange presence in the room.
Other experiences are less common. Even though many believe aliens exist, few reported seeing a UFO, something that’s relatively unchanged since 2006.