Some Americans Believe Covid Will Never Go Away; Others Pretend It’s Not a Risk

After several months of stagnation, the U.S. average COVID-19 case rate has once again begun to rise as the omicron BA.5 subvariant has risen to become the dominant strain in the country. While infections are rising, pandemic fatigue has been noted to be at an all-time high, with a minority of people not willing to take up mitigation efforts. Many consider the pandemic to be over.

The coronavirus pandemic has created a mass-disabling event that experts liken to HIV, polio, or World War II, with millions suffering the long-term effects of infection with the coronavirus. Many have found their lives dramatically changed and are grappling with what it means to be disabled.

 

A large majority of Americans believe that COVID-19 will always be around, according to new polling data released on Tuesday, with pandemic pessimism appearing to be rising — along with recent case counts.

The Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index found that 78 percent of Americans surveyed agreed with the statement “We will never fully be rid of the coronavirus in my lifetime.” This trend was consistent for Democrats, Republicans, and independents.

The Axios-Ipsos poll noted that only 36 percent of respondents said they wear a mask when outside their home, the lowest rate observed since the beginning of the pandemic. The same percentage of respondents said they never wear a mask when outside their home, a 14 percent jump from this same time last year.

At the same time, 29 percent of respondents said they believed that the pandemic was over, indicating there was some overlap between those who believe the SARS-CoV-2 virus will never go away but also

We’re at this real confrontational moment of trying to educate as many people as possible about disability and structural inequalities and trying to make sure [long haulers] get the resources they need right now.

The map below shows 2020 counties with the color corresponding to the number of cases.

The more infectious BA.5 omicron subvariant now makes up almost 80 percent of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S., as case rates continue to trend upward.
About 78 percent of coronavirus cases in the U.S. are caused by the BA.5 subvariant, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The rise of BA.5 has spurred concerns over its enhanced ability to evade protection given by vaccines and prior infections from other variants.
Currently available vaccines are still believed to be effective in reducing the risk of hospitalizations and deaths from BA.5, but the shot’s ability to prevent infection is thought to be less potent against this subvariant.

As BA.5 has grown in prevalence, the rate of COVID-19 infections has steadily begun to rise again. The case rate now stands at about 126,000 cases per week.

Among covid-deniers — the always-testing-negative ones, not the conspiracy theory crew — theories about the reasons for their good fortune abound. “I must have superhuman immunity or something,” some people tell themselves.

Scientists have found no conclusive evidence of innate genetic immunity.

 

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