Are we finally beginning to make out the sort of light that’s been at the end of this pandemic tunnel? After nearly a year of pseudo-solitude, are were really ready to be back out in public again?
In some parts of the country, the answer is absolutely yes.
Texas, for instance, has announced that they will no longer maintain statewide regulations regarding the capacity of businesses that were reduced on account of coronavirus, nor will they enforce a mask mandate. They’ll, instead, allow businesses and cities to handle that on their own.
Some have called the move foolish, and President Joe Biden took that a step further by characterizing the move as “neanderthal thinking” – an insult that saw him blistered by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
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But a new poll seems to show that Texas is on to something.
For the first time in Gallup’s trend, a majority of Americans (60%) perceive the coronavirus situation in the U.S. as getting better, while 26% say it is staying the same and 14% believe it is getting worse. This record-high optimism likely reflects the steep decline in new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. in late January and early February. Gallup previously documented a strong relationship between changes in COVID infection ratesand Americans’ assessment of the situation. When the percentage of new COVID-19 cases spiked in the summer and fall, majorities of Americans said the situation was getting worse.
Last April, when Gallup first asked Americans for their views on the COVID-19 situation in the U.S., 56% said it was getting worse, while 29% said it was getting better and 15% said it was staying the same. Through mid-June, roughly four in 10 Americans said the situation was improving, including a then-record high of 47% during the first week of June.
The news comes as a number of vaccines have come to market, with the latest being a versatile jab from J&J that only requires one dose to be effective, and can be stored at room temperature.
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