Fewer than 1 in 5 Americans still social distancing, poll says

A social distance sign is taped to the ground at a Covid-19 vaccination center offering the Pfizer vaccine to anyone over the age of 12 who wants it, at Crenshaw High School in the traditionally Black and Latino neighborhood of South Los Angeles on July 8, 2021. (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

(WNCN) — Despite coronavirus variants causing infections and hospitalizations to tick up, many Americans have chosen to eliminate social distancing from their daily routines.

According to a recent Gallup poll, fewer than 1 in 5 Americans now say they are completely or mostly isolating themselves from people outside their households, a number that once peaked at 75% near the start of the pandemic in April 2020 is now at 18%.

The number of people has steadily dwindled in 2021, the poll found. In March, 38% of respondents said they were mostly or completely isolating themselves to stay “socially distant,” but by March that number had fallen to 22%.

According to researchers, almost half of Americans polled, or 47%, say they have made “no attempt whatsoever” in the past day to isolate themselves from people outside their households.

The findings are from the June update of Gallup’s monthly COVID-19 tracking study, conducted online June 14-20.

In follow-up questions, 59% of U.S. adults said their social life is completely back to normal, while 52% said the same about their shopping behaviors. Also, 49% of those polled said their personal finances have been “restored,” while 45% said the same about their dining-out habits.

Included in the numbers are the 15% of Americans who say their lives overall are completely back to normal as well as those who say they are back to normal in only specific areas.

In contrast, 29% of Americans report that travel has been restored to pre-pandemic levels, while 30% say entertainment or recreation is fully back to normal. Additionally, about 4 in 10 Americans describe the areas of physical health, mental health and exercise as completely back to normal for them.

When it comes to parents of school-aged children under 18, about 51% said their parenting and how they are raising their children are back to normal, with only 34% saying this about school.

Researchers also found that 49% of full-time or part-time employed adults say work is completely back to normal for them.

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