COVID-19 numbers in the U.S. have been on a continual decline – in the past two weeks, cases are down 19%, hospitalizations down 23%, and deaths down 31%. With that in mind, recent CivicScience tracking data show that Americans’ concern about being in public spaces is on a decline as well. In fact, this week, concern levels are the lowest they’ve been since CivicScience began tracking in early April of 2020. Nearly 40% of U.S. adults say they’re “not at all concerned.”   

Unsurprisingly, there was also a decrease in the percentage of U.S. adults who expect quarantining and social distance measures will last for more than six months. Right now, only around one-quarter of U.S. adults expect to be still following these public health guidelines six or more months from now.

Vaccine Rollout 

While more people become vaccinated each day, CivicScience checked in on how Americans are feeling about the nationwide rollout process. According to data from March 2021, adults who are eligible to receive the vaccine in the Northeast census region are having the most difficulty finding appointment slots. Vaccine hesitancy is highest in the South census region as of right now with the respondents being the most likely to say they don’t plan to receive the vaccine at all. 

Another interesting insight: U.S. adults who don’t plan to get the vaccine at all are the most likely to dine in at a restaurant in the next week, while those who are planning to get it (but haven’t yet) are the least likely to do so.

Returning to (a Semblance of) Normalcy 

The vaccine rollout seems to continue to contribute to longer-term optimism. Right now, 60% of U.S. adults say they’re comfortable shopping in stores right now – a slight increase compared to last week.  

Slightly more than half of U.S. adults say they’re comfortable eating at restaurants right now and the percentage of those who don’t plan to return to a restaurant dining experience in six or more months declined to 22% – the lowest number observed since early April 2020.

With spring and summer travel seasons around the corner, CivicScience data show that 35% of U.S. adults say they’re comfortable traveling right now, but 33% still say they don’t plan to travel or go on vacation for six or more months.

U.S. adults also are feeling increasingly comfortable with the idea of attending a major public event, an activity that people have been extremely wary of up to this point. As of this week, 31% of U.S. adults say they’d be comfortable going to a major public event now. On the other hand, nearly 40% say they aren’t going to be ready for six or more months. There still seems to be a division in comfort levels when it comes to big events or activities where contact with crowds is less avoidable.

Despite the pandemic being nowhere near over, there is a clear notion of optimism due to the progression of the coronavirus vaccine. Want to stay up to date with CivicScience’s weekly COVID-19 Impact Report? Sign up to receive the latest insights and up-to-the-minute data here