Health & Beauty

POLL: Americans Think Pandemic Is Worsening, But Few Will Stay Home

Public opinion of the COVID crisis has reached an interesting impasse.

As COVID-19 cases are surging once again across the United States, a rise long-predicted by experts who feared the convergence of the coronavirus with flu season and winter. However, a new Gallup poll shows that fewer Americans are looking to hunker down at home to curb the spread of the virus.

The poll, released last week, asked participants if they would be willing to remain home for a month if health officials said it was necessary to contain a “serious” outbreak. Almost half, 49% of respondents, said they were “very likely” to do so.

The results represent a sharp decline from April, when Gallup conducted its last such survey. At that time, 67% of respondents said they were very likely to stay home if health officials said it was necessary. That’s represents an 18% drop.

Still, not everyone in Wednesday’s poll was ardently opposed to the possibility of a strict stay-at-home order. 18% of participants said they would be “somewhat likely” to stay home if necessary. Meanwhile, 33% said they were either “somewhat unlikely” or “very unlikely” to heed a monthlong stay-at-home order.

Cases Surge, Vigilance Wavers

covid public opinion map
Image: New York Times

Gallup conducted the poll with about 3,000 adults in late October, at the same time that coronavirus cases began to surge across the country. By the time of the poll’s release, the US had added more than 100,000 new cases every day for a week. Most Americans seem to recognize the virus surge, even if they are relaxing their methods of curbing it.

The same poll found that 61% of respondents believed the pandemic was getting worse in the US. That’s a major increase from the 40% who told Gallup in April that the virus was worsening. Meanwhile, Wednesday’s survey found that only 23% of respondents believed the virus was getting better.

And yet, when asked if they properly “isolated” with people outside their households, only 38% said they “completely” or “mostly” respected social-distancing guidelines. At the same time, about a quarter of those polled claimed they “partially” isolated, and 35% said they isolated a little or not at all.

Pandemic Politics

If so many respondents believe the pandemic is worsening, why are so many also flouting safety protocols? Gallup data suggest that it comes down to politics.

With the pandemic becoming the number-one issue in the recent presidential election, partisans took opposing positions on the best way to respond to the virus. Democratic candidates, led by President-Elect Joe Biden, advocated for serious measures to curb the virus’ spread, and accused the Trump Administration of not taking the danger seriously. Republicans, on the other hand, rallied around President Trump, who frequently made fun of measures like facial masks and criticized many governors who instituted statewide stay-at-home orders.

The dual realities of America’s political tribes contributed to the surprising poll results, says Gallup. “Most of the decline in Americans’ willingness to follow shelter-in-place advice is due to a sharp drop among Republicans – falling 40% in Gallup’s latest polling, from 74% in the spring,” Gallup wrote alongside its survey results. “Democrats’ willingness to stay at home has remained high, at 87% today versus 91% in March and April.”

As of midday November 23, The New York Times reported a total of 12.3 million cases of COVID-19 in the United States since it made landfall in March. The death toll has reached 257,000.

COVID Public Opinion — Sources

New York Times – Numbers
New York Times – Heat Map

Education Shopping

10 Best Gifts for College Students

Ask any college student what they want before heading off to college, and the answers may be fun or funny but not necessarily what you want to buy them. (A six-pack of beer? A new gaming system? A credit card with unlimited balance?) Don’t worry — whether they’re living in dorms or studying remotely, these are the best gifts for college students that they will really appreciate (even if they don’t say so, at first).

EDITOR’S NOTE: How Life Works is an Amazon Associate and may earn revenue from purchases made through links on this site.

The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College by Harlen Cohen

This is the must-have guide book for navigating every uncharted moment. Find out how you can handle living with a stranger or missing your family back home. You might even find yourself in one of colleges’ sixteen types of hookups. The #1 book on college life will help guide you on what to expect and how to conquer situations you’ve never encountered before. 

Pro-Mart DAZZ Smart Organizer

Girls, you know you’ve been wondering where you’ll put all your shoes. And boys, admit it, your Nike collection is going to need some room, too. With the Smart Carousel Organizer, you can easily give any cluttering item a place to hang. Get off on the right foot with your roommate and save space. 

Anker PowerCore Portable Charger

collegestudent gift anker power charger

Say goodbye to your phone dying all the time. This lipstick-sized charger makes sure you always have battery. It’ll keep your IPhone 6 and most other smartphones charged for an extra 14 hours. Perfect for those long walks to class with headphones in or when checking your Twitter DM’s hourly.

Roku Streaming Player

After a long week of midterms and missing all your favorite TV shows, catch that last episode on Roku. Over 2,000 channels to choose from, including top subscription options like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO GO (for all you Game of Thrones lovers), as well as access to news, sports, movies and more. All it takes is a few clicks on this simple remote and they’re laid out for you. It’s easy to set up and only $49.00 with free shipping.

Suede Bean Bag

Living with your peers day and night means entertaining visitors, and you’ll get annoyed when they want to sit on your bed. With a bean bag, you can either study in comfort without falling asleep, or find the quickest way to keep friends coming over. If anything, you may have to fight to sit in your own.

Bose Soundlink Bluetooth Speaker

For all you freshmen who are the life of the party, you will love the portable Bose Soundlink Color Bluetooth Speaker. Play that Spotify playlist for up to 8 hours with full-range sound and a rechargeable battery. It doesn’t take up much room, and lets you play DJ anywhere you go.

8-Compartment Shower Caddy

One of the less glamorous facts about dorm life? Sharing a bathroom with other residents. The last thing you want is Sarah from 210 stealing your toothbrush, and this 8-compartment shower caddy has you covered. Now there’s an easy way to have everything you need when going to-and-from the bathroom.

Pop Up Mesh Laundry Hamper

Another unglamorous fact about college? Laundry.  Don’t be that freshman dropping socks and t-shirts on the way to the washer, this Pop Up Mesh Laundry Hamper will help you out a ton. It helps you easily carry your load to the laundry room and back to fold, especially since those machines might not be right outside your door.

G700 Flashlight

This isn’t your phone’s flashlight. With 700 lumens of light, the G700 can not only help you spot any creepers, but it might also save your life. There will be places you have to walk to alone in the dark and safety is crucial on a college campus. Be prepared.

Target Gift Card

Finally, $100 at Target is essential. From a mini-fridge to backpacks, you’ll find everything any college freshman would love. With a gift card, you can design your room to fit your personality. Target always has discounts too, so you’re sure to find something you like.

Your college experience will be a time in your life you’ll never forget. Choose to make it as stress-relieving and fun as possible— and start shopping early!

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