A Majority of Adults Still Support Masking in Public to Prevent COVID Surges

A new national survey has found that the daily lives of a majority of adults in the U.S. have not fully returned the pre-pandemic “normal,” and large majorities of people of color and lower-income adults — who are more likely to work frontline jobs — say everyone should remain diligent about COVID precautions such as masking in public.

Despite the lifting of COVID restrictions across the country and media hype about “pandemic fatigue,” six in ten U.S. adults agree that people should continue wearing masks in some public places to avoid future surges of infections, accordingAccording to the Kaiser Family Foundation. A slim majority of respondents said they still wear protective glasses in indoor public places, while 19% of respondents said they never use them in public. This includes 37.9% of Republicans and, more alarmingly for me, 44.9% of unvaccinated adults.

The survey found that there were sharp divisions regarding pandemic precautions. They fell along class, party, partisan, and race lines as well between the unvaccinated and vaccinated. People of color, people suffering from chronic medical conditions and lower-income adults are much more likely to support continued pandemic precautions, while nearly seven in ten Republicans and 67 percent of unvaccinated adults say people should stop masking in public so life can “get back to normal.”

The survey is conducted as the Omicron surge subsides, leaving a daily record. averageThere are approximately 27,000 new cases in the country. The media and public health officials reported fewer cases because there are fewer people using at-home COVID testing, which results in less data.

Despite the fact that infection rates have dropped sharply since January’s peak, more than a dozen statesThere has been an increase in cases in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts over the past two week. This includes the heavily populated northeast. According to the CDC, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts have seen an increase in cases by more than 30%. New York Times Tracker of COVID. Public health experts remain concerned about future spikes in Omicron variants like BA.2 and Omicron variants. pose an acute riskFor those who are not vaccinated, even if they have not been infected in recent months.

The survey also highlights the uneven burdens associated with the pandemic. A large majority of respondents from Latinx and Black (both 88 percent and 69%, respectively) agreed that people should continue to conceal their identities in public places to avoid future surges. Researchers believe this could be because more people of colour work in the service industry than whites. Notably, 68 per cent of respondents earning less than $40,000 a year believed that everyone should continue to hide in public places. People with lower incomes were also more likely than others to claim that the pandemic had had negative effects on their finances and employment.

“Masking works best in all situations if the masking is universal,” said Abdullah Shihipar, a narrative projects director at the People, Place & Health Collective at the Brown University School of Public Health, in a statement on Monday.

Nearly 60% of adults report that they have not returned to the activities they did prior to the pandemic. 42 percent reported that they had returned to some, but not all, and 17 percent reported that they only engage in a few pre-pandemic activities. These numbers are even higher in Democrats, who support continued public masking.

However, majorities of Republicans (55 percent), unvaccinated adults (57 percent) and nearly half of all white adults say they never changed their activities due to COVID or have basically returned to “normal.”

In comparison, only 25 percent of Black respondents said they never changed their activities due to the pandemic or their lives have returned to “normal.” More than 80 percent of Black adults say they are masking in public all or most of the time. 65 percent of adults with chronic conditions said they avoid at least some activities because of COVID.

Proponents claim that lifting masking requirements is a deadly threat to frontline workers as well as people who are at risk of becoming ill.

The federal masking requirement for public transportation — including airplanes — is set to expire on April 18. Respondents to the survey voted for the requirement to be allowed expire. However, 49 percent said that the requirement should not be extended. This is a reflection of the realities of the situation. current deep divisionsIt is up to the individual to decide whether masking should occur.

In open letterLast month, President Joe Biden received a response from CEOs of major airlines as well as a lobbying group suggesting that the federal government should allow for mask requirements for aircrafts to sunset. The letter provoked a debateAmong public health experts and proponents of masking, with some experts suggestingFor travelers who have been vaccinated, the masking requirements could be waived. Airlines could designate a section on their aircraft for those who need extra protection or prefer to sit in a group with others wearing masks.

Shihipar stated that airlines are unlikely to separate passengers on the basis of masks. If the transportation requirement is allowed expire, then airplane travel would likely reflect what was happening on the ground. Individuals would make the decision to mask.

“A masking section [on planes]It makes no sense. The air is shared, and there would be people who didn’t wear masks. [close] proximity to people with masks,” Shihipar said. “It also has the potential to open up those who are masking to harassment” by anti-maskers who see them separated from other passengers.