Though you may read or heard about opposition to mask mandates across the country, eighty-one percent of Americans agree that face masks are an effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to new CivicScience data. Only 13% of Americans disagree, and another 6% just have no strong take.
Given the CDC’s announcement this week that disciplined mask-wearing by all Americans would significantly slow the spread of COVID-19 in 4-6 weeks time, the above data is encouraging for the current state of the pandemic in the U.S.
According to deeper insights, women are slightly more likely than men to say they agree that masks are an effective way to prevent coronavirus spread. And interestingly, despite what you might see or hear out there, only 25% of Republicans disagree with mask’s effectiveness.
Through a series of further surveys, CivicScience studied where Americans are buying face coverings, and in which places (and during which activities) they are and aren’t wearing them.
Trend forecasters could have never predicted that 2020’s hottest fashion accessory would be the mask. But, here we are. Seventy-six percent of American adults polled report purchasing masks, according to the new data.
Americans are more likely to have purchased masks at an online retailer like Amazon (31%) or through a small business / maker (23%) than they are to have purchased them at a major big box retailer (17%).
The data below is rebased among American adults who are currently going to certain locations (or participating in certain activities) during the pandemic. We observe that most people wear masks to the grocery store, but are slightly less likely to wear them to a non-grocery retailer.
At restaurants and cafes, people are more likely to wear them inside than outside settings. Things really drop when asking people who are attending fitness classes and hitting the gym about mask wearing. Though not every facility may require them, 33% of those who go to fitness centers right now say they never wear masks there.
What’s more: nearly half of U.S. adults report they don’t wear a mask when visiting friends or family members’ homes.
While being outdoors right now is arguably one of the safest activities, the data show it’s rare that people wear masks outside for walks or in parks compared to the other activities we studied.
Though mask-wearing by activity differs, the data are clear that Americans can (pretty much) all agree on masks right now. Though opposition to wearing masks may feel louder than support for them, masks may be only somewhat controversial after all.