The number of United States adults saying they have returned to living their “normal, pre-COVID-19 life” has more than doubled over the past six months, survey results show.

Increasing numbers say they personally know someone who has died from COVID-19 and personally know someone who has suffered the lingering effects such as neurological problems and fatigue that are commonly known as “long COVID,” according to the survey, which took place July 12-18, 2022.

Despite awareness of the continuing risks of COVID-19, worries about its health effects have declined and the percentage of Americans who often or always wear masks indoors with people from outside their household has plummeted.

The nationally representative panel of 1,580 US adults, surveyed by SSRS for the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, was the seventh wave of the Annenberg Science Knowledge (ASK) survey whose respondents were first empaneled in April 2021. The margin of sampling error (MOE) is ± 3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All changes noted in this release from previous surveys are statistically significant. See the appendix and methodology for additional information, including the survey questions.

The survey, conducted amid a surge in cases of the coronavirus BA.5 omicron subvariant and spreading cases of monkeypox, found that:

  • Over half of Americans (54%) personally know at least one person who has died of COVID-19.
  • Nearly 1 in 3 (31%) know someone who has experienced long COVID.
  • Most of the public knows someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated—or being fully vaccinated and boosted.
  • A majority of Americans (54%) say they rarely or never wear a mask indoors when with people from outside their household—more than double the proportion in January.
  • 4 in 10 (41%) say they have already returned to their “normal, pre-COVID-19 life”—up from 16% in January.

Read the full article about COVID precautions by Michael Rozansky at Futurity.