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Americans ready to accept Covid and move on with life

Pollsters also report people feel let down by the federal government's handling of the pandemic.

(CN) — Covid-19 is officially here to stay and it’s time we all accept it as part of our everyday lives, a sizeable majority of Americans say in a new survey.

As the world approaches the second anniversary of the dawn of Covid-19 pandemic that sent the world into mass shutdown, a new Monmouth University poll released Monday reveals most Americans are ready to face a tough reality: Covid-19 is here for the long haul. Seventy percent of Americans believe the virus is not going anywhere and that it’s time to move on with our lives — a number that includes nearly 80% of Americans who have already contracted the novel coronavirus.

Republicans and independents are the most likely to agree with this stance. Nearly 90% and 71% of them, respectively, say it’s time to move on, while just 47% of Democrats say the same.

As for the more optimistic folks regarding Covid, their numbers appear to be dwindling. Just 34% say they think the virus will be under control and the nation will be back to normal by the end of the year, while 28% say a return to normalcy is just a pipe dream at this point — up significantly from the 6% of Americans who believed that last year.

“Americans’ worries about Covid haven’t gone away,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said with the release of the poll. “It seems more to be a realization that we are not going to get this virus under control in a way that we thought was possible just last year.”

While more Americans than ever are willing to accept Covid-19 as a new fixture of American life, there is still some concern over the new variants of the disease. About half the public says they are worried about catching a new Covid variant, with 23% very concerned and 27% somewhat concerned. The number of Americans who report high anxiety over a Covid-19 variant is up nearly 10 points from December, just before the omicron variant began to surge in force across the country.

Despite some uptick in fear about new versions of the virus, many Americans still have reservations about vaccinations. Though 45% of Americans say they’ve gotten their Covid booster shot, 37% say getting a booster is a tough sell and will likely never get one — and nearly a fifth of Americans say they never got vaccinated in the first place.

Preventative measures against Covid-19 have not yet fallen out of grace for most people. Just over half of respondents say they are fine with social distancing and masking guidelines, though support for making people show proof of vaccination in order to work in a public setting has been steadily dropping since last fall.

While most Americans still support of Covid-19 safety measures, the same level of support cannot be said for the federal government. For the first time since he took office, approval of how President Joe Biden and his administration have handled the crisis is officially underwater: 43% say he’s done a good job while 53% believe he's handled the crisis poorly. Just a month ago the public exactly split on the president’s job in managing the pandemic, and before that the president enjoyed consistently favorable marks.

Americans are little less harsh on their governors. More than half (54%) say they think their own governors and states have done a pretty good job in handling the crisis so far, up a few points from last month. The American public itself gets the lowest scores of any, however, with just 29% of respondents for Monday’s poll saying they think the public has responded well to the virus.

“We still see public support for maintaining some degree of public safety around Covid,” Murray said. “However, there appears to be an acknowledgment that federal measures have not been effective, or at least have failed to be widely accepted.”

Monday’s poll used a sample size of 794 adults and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5%.

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