US views on mask mandates are shifting — Analysis

According to polls, Americans are less afraid of getting Covid-19 and their support for mandatory face covers is declining.

According to a poll, Americans feel less fearful of Covid-19, and are more inclined to accept that masks should not be worn in public.

About 50% of Americans favor requiring face coverings in public, down from 55% last August, according to a poll conducted by the Associated Press and the University of Chicago’s NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. This is a significant shift in comparison to the initial year of the Covid-19 epidemic, which saw 75% support compulsory mask-wearing.

However, in the February AP/NORC poll, 77% of Democrats favored mandates for masks and 16% were neutral. Only 7% of Democrats opposed forcing people into facecovers. This compares to 53% among Republicans.

Many US states have eliminated their mandates for masks. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Covid-19 is not high enough in 28% of all Americans. This makes face covers unnecessary.

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This shift in attitude about mask rules seems to correspond with the same slide in viral fears. Just 24% of Americans are now “extremely” or “very” worried about themselves or a family member being infected with Covid-19, down from 36% when the Omicron variant was spreading rapidly in December and January, according to the poll, which was released on Monday.

Covid-19 anxiety has dropped to its lowest point in eight months. Just 13% of unvaccinated Americans have strong concerns about contracting the virus, while 28% of people who’ve been inoculated said they are extremely or very worried.

The general level of concern about infectious diseases has also declined. According to the poll, 48% are very or extremely worried about US disease outbreaks. This is down from 65% in August. The level of disease concerns is similar to that seen before the Covid-19 epidemic.



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