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Poll Shows New Yorkers' Mixed Feelings On Where We Are In Pandemic

Juraj Varga from Pixabay

While nearly 70% of New Yorkers believe the worst of the pandemic is over, nearly half are still worried about getting sick, according to a new Siena College poll. Nearly 80% of New Yorkers are willing to resume aspects of normal life, like having friends over, going on vacation or eating indoors at a restaurant, according to the poll.

“Looking to the fall, New Yorkers provide a mixed bag of hopefulness, concern and a recognition of a new world as we try to put the worst of the coronavirus behind us,” said Don Levy, director of the Siena College Research Institute.

The study also showed the pandemic’s toll. At least 51% of New Yorkers said they have struggled with depression during the pandemic and 49% have gained weight, compared to 44% who developed a new hobby and 38% who said they got in shape.

“Sixty-nine percent think it somewhat or very likely that in the fall for many of us, it will feel like COVID-19 is over,” Levy said, “but, simultaneously, half anticipate a resurgence.”

Over 70% said they will continue to work remotely through the fall, but think schools will reopen in-person without masks. About 72% expect many schools and workplaces will continue to encourage both social distancing and the wearing of masks.

This poll was conducted in June by random telephone calls and “responses drawn from a proprietary online panel of New Yorkers.” The total sampling was over 800.

Levy said certain demographics, such as Republicans, younger people and those making under $50,000 report having lower vaccination rates than others.

“It's starting to appear as though we've reached the point where if you would like to be vaccinated, it is available,” he said. “A group of people that hovers between 20% and 25% of young people, of lower income New Yorkers, Republicans [who] say I don't intend to get vaccinated.”

The poll showed 10% of Black New Yorkers said they do not plan to get the vaccine. The poll appears to show disparity in vaccine access for those who still want one: 27% of the Black community plans to get vaccinated, compared to 8% of white New Yorkers.

Leah is a former intern with WSHU Public Radio.