For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, a majority of Americans say the COVID-19 pandemic is improving, according to a new Gallup poll.
The survey, which was conducted Feb. 14-21, found that 60% of respondents said the pandemic is “getting a little or a lot better” with 14% saying the situation is getting worse and 26% saying it’s staying the same.
The latest survey contrasts with when Gallup first asked Americans about the pandemic in April 2020 and 56% said it was getting worse, 26% said it was getting better and 15% said it was remaining the same.
Vaccinations for COVID-19 became available to eligible Americans back in January and on Saturday, the Food and Drug Administration cleared a third version, the Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two.
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. have also seen a decline. The daily average of cases in the past week was 62,924, which is a decrease of 14% over a two-week time period, according to The New York Times.
Respondents were more pessimistic when coronavirus cases increased throughout 2020, with 65% of Americans saying the pandemic was getting worse in late June, with a peak of 73% of respondents saying so in mid-August.
Americans are also less worried now about access to medical supplies and coronavirus tests compared to the beginning of the pandemic. The latest survey found that 22% of respondents are “very or moderately worried about tests” while 34% said they were worried about services and treatment. When Gallup polled Americans in April 2020, 60% expressed concern about tests and 64% were worried about services and treatments.
Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans who say the pandemic has disrupted their lives has remained steady. In the latest poll, 70% of respondents said COVID has disrupted their lives a great deal or fair amount while 30% said it hasn’t disrupted their lives much or at all — the same findings as in a September poll.
In the latest survey, a majority of Americans think disruptions from the pandemic will last until late 2021, while 38% said it will last until mid-2021, 8% said it would last a few more months and 2% said it would be “a few more weeks.”
There have been more than 28 million coronavirus cases in the U.S. as of Mar. 5 and more than 520,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Gallup conducted this survey as part of its Social Series panel, which asks at least 1,000 American adults questions on various topics each month.