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Pessimism about the COVID-19 Pandemic Rises among Americans: Gallup

  • Kayla Koslosky Former ChristianHeadlines.com Editor
  • Updated Aug 24, 2021
Pessimism about the COVID-19 Pandemic Rises among Americans: Gallup

As COVID-19 cases begin to rise again, a new Gallup poll shows that more Americans are feeling pessimistic about the pandemic situation.

In a web survey of members of Gallup's probability-based panel completed between July 19-26, 45 percent of participants asserted that they feel the pandemic is getting a lot or a little worse. Conversely, 40 percent said, as of July, they feel the pandemic is getting a lot or a little better, and 14 percent said the pandemic situation has not changed. These numbers are drastically different from those of June when 89 percent voiced optimism over the pandemic situation, and just 3 percent said it had gotten worse.

While the current percentage of people believing the pandemic situation is growing worse is significantly lower than it was in 2020 (73 percent at its height), it is higher than the percentage of people who believed the pandemic situation was growing worse between March and June of 2021. According to Gallup, July marked the first time since January that a greater number of American adults felt pessimistic about the pandemic than optimistic.

Gallup also asked participants how much longer they believe the pandemic would last. While in June, just 17 percent said they believed it would last beyond the end of 2021, as of July, 42 percent said they believed the pandemic will persist into 2022. An additional 41 percent said in July that they think the pandemic will last through the end of 2021, while 12 percent said it will last only a few more months, and 5 percent said it will last just a few more weeks.

Americans are also growing more concerned about contracting COVID-19, with 29 percent saying in July that they are at least somewhat worried they will get sick. This is up from June when only 17 percent voiced concern about getting sick with COVID-19. Among vaccinated and non-vaccinated Americans, Gallup found that vaccinated Americans are more concerned with catching COVID-19 (33 percent) than unvaccinated Americans (20 percent).

According to Lifeway Research, current feelings about the progression of the pandemic may have some effects on church life. 

In a February survey, 91 percent of U.S. Protestant churchgoers told Lifeway that they will return to in-person church services when "COVID-19 is no longer an active threat to people's health."

With 2 in 5 American adults avoiding large crowds, Lifeway predicts that some churchgoers will not be comfortable returning to in-person church services, or those who have begun attending in-person services will return to attending church online.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Drazen Zigic

Kayla Koslosky is the former Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.