(Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

The spread of the coronavirus has transformed many aspects of public life since 2020, including how Americans work, go to school, and attend religious services. Recently, restrictions on public activities in many countries have been lifted and Americans are increasingly comfortable with returning to normal activities.

To gain insight into how Americans view the impact of COVID-19 on their lives, a recent Pew Research Center study asked respondents to describe — in their own words — what has grown and fallen in importance to them during the pandemic . (A random subset of survey respondents described what was done more important to them and another random subset described what has been done less important.)

For many Americans, the pandemic — which has claimed more than a million lives in the United States alone — has brought a new sense of trade-offs between protecting health and participating in social activities as part of everyday life. Here are some of the main themes that emerged in Americans’ open-ended responses.

The Pew Research Center conducted this analysis to understand how Americans’ priorities have changed since the coronavirus outbreak. The open-ended responses come from a Center survey of 10,282 US adults conducted May 2-8, 2022. Some responses cited here have been lightly edited for style, brevity, and readability.

All survey participants are members of the Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. That way, almost all American adults have a chance at selection. The survey is estimated to be representative of the US adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, party affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the ATP methodology.

Here are the questions used for this report, along with their answers and methodology.

What has become more important

Many Americans — 26% of those who responded — say that staying healthy became more important to them during the COVID-19 outbreak, whether that included following public health precautions or putting more emphasis on one way or another. healthy living.

Some described the precautions they took to maintain their health as important news. One respondent said: “I keep a safe distance from people in shops and places where I shop or eat. Make sure you wash your hands well, especially before eating. Others defined this in more general terms, such as “staying healthy, exercising, eating right and looking after my mental health”.

About two in ten (21% of those who gave an answer) talked about their renewed appreciation for social activities. Most of this group said attending large gatherings and in-person visits with friends and family were more important to them now than before the outbreak. One person described their change in appreciation this way: “Quality time with the people I love, attending great events whenever the opportunity presents itself.”

A smaller percentage (9% of respondents) referred not going out and staying at home – steps to prevent the risk of infection – as more important priorities since the outbreak of COVID-19. One person described the change as “staying out of public places and crowded places.” Another said: “I stay at home more, avoid crowds and public spaces. I also shop earlier to avoid people, buy more in bulk so I don’t go out as often.”

The center’s surveys have shown wide-ranging changes in Americans’ work lives during the pandemic. Some open-ended responses also spoke of people reassessing wider life priorities, particularly in relation to a reduced focus on work life or being in the office.

One in ten respondents described having more appreciation for life and a relatively lower priority on work life today. One respondent summed up their new priorities this way: “When I worked from home, I was able to be very efficient and finish work during the contract hours. Now that I’m back to traveling and interacting with colleagues, this is harder to do, but I no longer take work assignments home. What is done at work is done, and everything else waits for the next working day. My family time is very valuable.”

Fewer respondents cited frustrations with advice from public health officials or an active rejection of efforts to protect themselves from the coronavirus. Only 2% of respondents said it had become more important to them. (Another 1% made a general negative remark about public health officials.)

What has become less important

Americans who were asked what there is seated in importance to them during the outbreak, they also frequently mentioned social interactions. About a third (35% of those who answered this question) said that socializing and going out had dropped in priority for them.

As one person said, “Being social in large crowds is less important now. It’s less important to get out.” Another said: “I don’t go out in crowded areas that much and it’s not really my priority.“Other activities that Americans volunteered as least important to them included ‘traveling and vacationing,’ ‘going out shopping,’ and ‘going to the movies.’

Some respondents (9%) mentioned a devaluation of work when thinking about things that have become less important to them during the pandemic. This included people who said their work or going to work in person had become less important. One respondent said: “It became less important for me to be in the office. I can handle the same responsibilities being remote.” Among other things Americans cited as least important to them: “Putting in long hours at work” and “being defined by [their] work.”

A small share of Americans (4% of respondents) said that listening to public health officials had become less important to them. One respondent described it as having “lost faith in the medical community, CDC, FDA, etc.”

Party differences over public health guidelines, social gatherings

Throughout the coronavirus outbreak, broad partisan differences have emerged over efforts to mitigate its effects. Partisan differences also show up in Americans’ open-ended survey responses to the Center’s latest survey, particularly when it comes to health guidelines and social gatherings.

Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents were about twice as likely as Republicans and Republicans (32% vs. 17%) to cite taking health precautions and following public health guidelines or other efforts to improve health as most important to them since the year of the explosion.

On the other hand, Democrats (45% of respondents) were also more likely than Republicans (22%) to talk about seated the importance of socializing in large gatherings or going out since the outbreak began.

Note: Here are the questions used for this report, along with their answers and methodology.

Alison Spencer is a research analyst focusing on scientific research and society at the Pew Research Center.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *