- 28% worried about catching COVID-19; last lower in June 2021 (17%)
- About six in 10 Americans are not attempting to isolate themselves at all
- A new high of 78% advise healthy people to live life normally
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Twenty-eight percent of Americans say they are "very" or "somewhat worried" they will get COVID-19 -- the lowest percentage Gallup has recorded since the summer of 2021.
The latest findings, collected in Gallup's Oct. 11-19 COVID-19 probability-based web panel survey, come as a new high of Americans say they believe the pandemic is "over."
Most say they think COVID-19 infections will increase "a great deal" (15%) or "a moderate amount" (47%) in the fall and winter months. While the combined 62% who say infections will increase is down slightly from 66% in July, the percentage who believe infections will increase "a great deal" is down more significantly -- by eight percentage points -- from 23% in July.
The same poll finds the smallest percentages of Americans yet reporting they are steering clear of specific situations because of the coronavirus, including avoiding large crowds (24%), avoiding travel by plane or public transportation (19%), avoiding going to public places (16%) and avoiding small gatherings (13%).
Use of face masks remains fairly common, but the 40% saying they have worn one in the past week when outside their home is also a new low during the pandemic.
More Americans Are Forgoing Social Distancing
About six in 10 Americans (59%) say they have made no attempt to isolate themselves from people outside their household in the past 24 hours -- the most eschewing social distancing since the beginning of the pandemic.
Sixteen percent, similar to the level in April, now say they have completely or mostly isolated themselves from people outside their household, while 25% -- the lowest reading since April 2020 -- say they have isolated themselves partially or a little.
New High in Percentage Who Say It Is Best to Lead Normal Life
Seventy-eight percent of Americans, the highest to date, say the best advice for people who do not have coronavirus symptoms and are otherwise healthy is to lead their normal lives as much as possible and avoid interruptions to work and business.
Still, about one in five (22%) believe the best advice is to stay home as much as possible to avoid contracting or spreading COVID-19.
Though most Americans do not go as far as saying the pandemic is "over," about six in 10 are no longer making any attempt at social distancing. Even greater numbers advise that healthy adults lead as normal lives as possible. Meanwhile, concerns about catching COVID-19 are at a relative low point.
This collective comfort was 2 ½ years in the making, but Americans arrived at it fitfully after setbacks due to new variants that reignited concern, causing many to reconsider social distancing practices at least temporarily. New variants are sure to emerge in the winter and will test Americans' more relaxed perspective.
Learn more about how the Gallup Panel works.