The post-holiday COVID surge barely bothered America

Despite a rise in COVID cases during and after the holidays, a near-record-low number of Americans believe COVID is a risk to them personally, according to new data from the Ipsos Consumer Tracker

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.

Why we asked about COVID feelings: It feels like everyone has COVID again (or flu, or RSV?) including a bunch of people I know offhand who have it for the FIRST time, and others who are on round four. And again, that’s just folks in my orbit. CDC trendlines aren’t great, but are maybe starting to settle down again post-holiday. So are people feeling or acting differently?

What we found: Yeah, no. Asked about their threat level, a near-record low of 14% of people say COVID is a high threat to them personally. Most (53%) say it’s a low threat, also a point or three higher than it has been, even in the last year. And we brought back a question about how often people are masking in different circumstances, which we last asked back in September 2022. In most cases, we’re seeing very low numbers who say they are masking, and all of those levels are way down from 2022. The only situations with above 20% reporting masking are transportation-related, where you are in an enclosed space with close, extended contact with other people like cabs and planes. Having been on a fair amount of airplanes recently, my hunch is there is a say-do gap in this data. I would not report that one in four passengers are masked, although anecdatally I did see more masks in the various airports I’ve been through in the last two months than I had in previous months. None of this is particularly surprising. However, we’ll keep track of it and see if this ticks up in coming waves, or continues to wane.


 

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

Society