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Two people wearing masks walk among commuters in a subway station in New York
Commuters walk through a subway station in New York, in 2022.Jeenah Moon / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

Americans divided over whether pre-Covid normal will return

There are significant partisan, gender and socioeconomic divides when it comes to Covid outlooks.


Forty-seven percent of American adults don't believe their lives will return to a pre-Covid normal, as partisanship and socioeconomic factors significantly shape people's outlook.

According to recent data from a Gallup web poll, another 20% say that while their life hasn't yet returned to normal, they expect it will eventually. Thirty-three percent say their lives have already returned to normal, three years after the pandemic began.

Republicans are far more optimistic about their outlook about the pandemic — 50% say their lives are already back to normal, 18% say their lives will eventually be back, and 33% say their lives won't get back to normal.

By comparison, Democrats and independents both have similarly, less positive outlooks.

Thirty-three percent of independents and 24% of Democrats believe their lives are already back to normal; 18% of independents and 23% of Democrats believe normalcy will eventually return; and 49% of independents and 53% of Democrats feel that a pre-pandemic normal will never return.

Men are more optimistic about life's return to normal than women are (51% of women say normal will never return, compared to 42% of men). And while pluralities of all socioeconomic backgrounds believe life won't return to normal, 55% of those making less than $36,000 feel that way, compared to 48% of those making between $36,000 and $90,000, and 43% of those making more than $90,000.

Gallup polled 5,167 adults online between Feb. 21 and 28, with an error margin of +/- 2%.