Americans are starting to reemerge from their COVID bunkers as vaccinations accelerate

By Andrew Trunsky

As coronavirus vaccinations accelerate across the country, more and more Americans are seeing their friends in public, eating at restaurants and shopping in retail stores, according to a Tuesday Axios/Ipsos poll.

Almost 50% of Americans said that they had visited family or friends in the past month, according to the poll, up from just 39% in February. And 45% said that they had gone out to eat, up 12 points from the past month as well.

Additionally, 90% of respondents said they knew someone who had already been vaccinated, and 36% said that they had been vaccinated themselves.

“These are glimmers of hope,” Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs, told Axios. “We’re basically seeing the reemerging of America.”

While two-thirds of respondents said that they were still staying home and largely avoiding others, the total, down six points from February, was the lowest since April 2020. Just over one-sixth also said that their emotional well-being had improved since over the past week, the highest in a year.

But despite the increasing socialization, happiness and vaccinations, Americans who had yet to receive a shot were returning to pre-pandemic activities at a higher rate than their vaccinated counterparts. Slightly over half of unvaccinated respondents said that they had seen their friends in public in the past week, compared to just 41% of those who had received a shot.

Additionally, 18% of those surveyed also said that they did not plan on receiving the vaccine at all, citing a lack of trust in the government, uncertainty over possible side effects and the belief that it is not needed because they feel healthy now.

The poll was conducted from March 19-22 among 995 American adults, and has a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.

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