A recent Gallup poll found almost half of Americans believe that the nation will not return to “pre-pandemic normalcy.”
The result shows the extent to which the coronavirus and its reaction affected public opinion.
The poll reflects three years to the week that former President Donald Trump declared a national emergency.
The results are stark, especially now that the federal government plans to formally end the state of emergency. President Joe Biden stated in January that he will lift the COVID emergency on May 11.
The Gallup poll found several differing perspectives among the American public. A third told the pollster that their lives “are completely back to normal.” Nearly half, at 47%, believe that their “own lives will never return to pre-pandemic normalcy.” A further 20% say that their lives are “not yet back to normal but will eventually be.”
The polling result found that the percentage of Americans who believe that their lives will never return back to their pre-pandemic state has remained consistent over the last year. Gallup’s polling found the same percentage of Americans expressing the opinion in October 2022 and a similar 53% saying the same in July and August 2022.
Republicans were far more likely to declare their lives back to normal in the most recent poll, at 50% of respondents. Just 24% said the same among Democrats. A full 53% of Democrats, as compared to 33% of Republicans stated that their lives had not and will not return to normalcy.
The recent polling also reflects a wider shift in American perceptions of COVID-19’s origins. According to recent polling, most Americans now believe that the virus that caused the pandemic escaped from a Chinese laboratory.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) March 9, 2023
This includes a large majority of Republicans and a plurality of Democrats. The polling result came after the Department of Energy and the FBI each declared their assessment that the virus most likely came from an artificial origin.
Furthermore, the shift in opinion highlights conservatives’ concerns about American funding of research often called ‘gain-of-function.’ Recently revealed documents showed that taxpayer dollars aided research into such gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, close to where the virus was first discovered.