Twenty-nine percent (29%) of voters now believe that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. That’s down three points from two weeks ago and fourteen points from a month ago.
A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 40% now believe the worst is yet to come. That total includes 11% who say it will never end and 11% who say it will last several more years.
At the other extreme, 5% believe the pandemic is over and 3% believe it was a hoax.
Perceptions about the pandemic have varied over time. When the lockdowns first began, a majority of voters believed the pandemic would end by Memorial Day 2020.
In 2021, optimism rose when the vaccines became available. By May, 56% believed the worst was behind us. However, confidence fell over the summer with the arrival of the Delta variant. By July, just 28% still believed the worst had already come and gone. Confidence began to grow again in early October before falling again in November.
Voters are clearly frustrated with both the pandemic itself and the government response to it.
- Among those who believe the worst is yet to come, only half (51%) are worried about ongoing health issues. Thirty-six percent (36%) are worried about more government restrictions and mandates.
- Looking back, 58% of voters believe that shutting down businesses and locking down society did more harm than good.
- Forty-eight percent (48%) think scientists would falsify their data to support their personal views of what should be done.
- Half (49%) believe relaxing vaccine mandates, mask requirements, and social distancing guidelines would be good for the economy.
- Fifty-nine percent (59%) favor relaxing vaccine mandates to ease supply chain issues. Additionally, 61% favor relaxing vaccine mandates for police officers, fire fighters, and health care workers.
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Note: Neither Scott Rasmussen, ScottRasmussen.com, nor RMG Research, Inc. have any affiliation with Rasmussen Reports. While Scott Rasmussen founded that firm, he left more than seven years ago and has had no involvement since that time.
Which of the following best describes your reaction to taking the COVID vaccine?
67% I have already been vaccinated
5% I want to be vaccinated as soon as possible
5% I want to wait and see how it works before getting vaccinated
7% I’m in no particular rush to get vaccinated
14% I will never get vaccinated
2% Not sure
Is the worst of the pandemic behind us, or is it still to come?
29% Behind us
40% Still to come
32% Not sure
[Asked of those who said the worst is “behind us” on Question 2] Okay, which of the following best describes your perception of the pandemic?
71% Not asked
19% It’s still a concern, but the end is in sight
5% The pandemic is over
3% The pandemic was a hoax
1% Not sure
[Asked of those who said the worst is “still to come” on Question 2] Okay, which of the following best describes your perception of the pandemic?
60% Not asked
11% The pandemic will never end
11% It will last several more years
17% We’re making, but still have a long way to go
2% Not sure
The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted online by Scott Rasmussen on December 14-15, 2021. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Certain quotas were applied, and the sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, internet usage, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.