Two-third Americans think normal life is at least six months away, 75% fear second wave of coronavirus: Poll

The findings of the survey suggest that the policy of reopening states does not reflect public opinion


                            Two-third Americans think normal life is at least six months away, 75% fear second wave of coronavirus: Poll
(Getty Images)

About 65% of Americans think it might take at last six months for life to bounce back to normalcy. And as many states come back to life, about 75% of them worry about the second wave of new coronavirus infections, a survey found.

The Marist poll collaborated with NPR  and PBS to study responses from 1,007 adults between May 12 and May 17. The findings of the survey suggest that the government's push for reopening states does not reflect public opinion. "There's a great sense that normalcy is not around the corner," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, told NPR. 

A small fraction of US adults seems optimistic about the future course, with about 11% of adults saying life will be back to normal in a month.  Republicans were more positive than the Democrats. Still, a vast majority belonging to both ideologies are cynical.  Featuring in the list are 75% African Americans, 70% of college graduates, 70% of white women with a college degree, and the same percentage of individuals aged between 39 to 54 years old. About 55% of Republicans, 78% of Democrats, and 68% of independents do not think life will be the same as before at least for the next few months. Overall, two-thirds of Americans hold that opinion.

The findings of the survey, suggest that the policy of reopening states does not reflect public opinion. (Getty Images)

Over 75% of Americans fear the second wave of infections. This includes 57% Republicans, 93% of Democrats and 76% of independents. "The overwhelming majority feel we're in no way out of the woods," Miringoff said. "The notion that there's the potential or likelihood of a second wave is strong, and we see that clearly across party lines."

As for voting, half of the participants said they would vote by mail if their state permits them to do so. Recently, US President Donald Trump threatened to hold back funding for Michigan and Nevada only because these states decided to roll out the safer remote voting via mail. Of those who preferred to cast their vote by mail, 61% of Democrats and 53% of independents said they prefer voting by mail this November. On the other hand, 56% of Republics said they would choose to vote in person.

A study proposes a formula for the next 18 months

The poll comes on the heels of another study that suggested a formula: a cycle of a 50-day strict social distancing followed by a 30-day relaxation may bring down death rates. According to researchers, this measure works best when combined with testing, isolating infected patients, contact tracing of those exposed to the virus, and protecting the vulnerable. Dr Rajiv Chowdhury, a global health epidemiologist the University of Cambridge, UK, and lead author of the study, said: "Our models predict that dynamic cycles of 50-day suppression followed by a 30-day relaxation are effective at lowering the number of deaths significantly for all countries throughout the 18 months."

By adopting this measure, countries may be able to keep the ICUs from getting overwhelmed while also reducing deaths to just over 130,000 across the 16 countries modeled in the study. The strategy could delay infections, allowing countries to build upon their health infrastructure and increase efforts to develop new treatments or vaccines, Professor Oscar Franco from the University of Bern, Switzerland, said.