Fewer than half of Americans believe their daily routine will return to normal by June, as fears over coronavirus rise: POLL

Fewer than half of Americans believe their regular daily routine will return to normal by June 1 amid sharply rising concerns over contracting the novel coronavirus according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll released Friday.

In the new poll, just over nine in 10 Americans now say that the outbreak has disrupted their daily routine, showing the reach of the pandemic’s impact. Among those saying this, 44% said they think they will be able to resume their regular routine by June 1, including 13% who said by May 1, while a combined 84% believe that will happen by the end of the summer.

Still, concern over the pandemic continues on an upward trajectory, with 89% of Americans now saying they are concerned that they or someone they know will be infected with the virus, compared to 79% in a poll conducted from March 18-19 and 66% in a poll in the field from March 11-12. The steady increase in anxiety includes nearly twice as many Americans who are now very concerned (now at 50%) in the new poll, compared to the earliest poll in March when it was only 26%.

The poll, conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News, using Ipsos’ Knowledge Panel, asked Americans about President Donald Trump’s handling of the global pandemic, their concerns over contracting the virus, how their lives have been upended by the crisis, and when they believe a sense of normalcy will return.

Across the three surveys, one thread remains: Democrats are more concerned about getting the coronavirus than Republicans, 97% to 80%, while independents fall in between, with 92%. The concern levels in the newest poll represent a high for all three ideological groups. Only 3% of Democrats and 8% of independents are not concerned, compared with 20% of Republicans.

Differences by party are even starker when looking at those expressing a high level of concern. Among Democrats, 61% say they are very concerned, followed by independents at 53% and Republicans at 33%.

Trump’s approval for his handling of the public health crisis is now falling closer to where it was three weeks ago, after a series of polls showed some Americans rallying behind the commander-in-chief – resulting in a slight bump in approval for his response.

But as the month of April begins, Trump’s approval for his management of the coronavirus is now under-water, 47-52%. Approval is down from 55% in the poll released on March 20, and closer to where it was in the March 13 poll, when it was 43%.

The latest poll was conducted April 1-2, which comes after Trump and health officials with the coronavirus task force, which is charged with overseeing the federal government’s response, warned the country to brace for a “very painful” few weeks ahead, after outlining dire projections on Tuesday that between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans will die of the novel coronavirus, even if social distancing measures are strictly followed.

Just last week, the president offered a far more positive outlook, when he said he envisioned “packed churches” on Easter. But this week, in a sharp turn in tone, Trump said that the estimate of between 100,000 and 240,000 is a “very low number” in comparison to a 2.2 million projection if no action had been taken.

ABC News/Ipsos has polled three of the last four weeks, but during the one off-week last week, an ABC News/Washington Post poll was released.

Trump’s approval on coronavirus in this poll is close to his overall approval rating in last week’s ABC News/Washington Post poll, when it was 48%.

Consistent with this, in the new ABC News/Ipsos poll, perceptions of Trump among ideologues also appear back closer to where it’s long been, with most reverting back to their partisan tribes. Only 9% of Democrats approve of the president’s handling of coronavirus, which is less than a third of the 30% of Democrats who said the same in the poll two weeks ago. Meanwhile, 91% of Republicans approve now, which is on par with the March 20 poll.

And, in terms of disapproval, the numbers show an exact mirror image, with 91% of Democrats disapproving, up from 69% two weeks ago, and 9% of Republicans saying the same, similar to the 8% in the last ABC News/Ipsos poll.

As most of society remains shuttered in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus, when respondents were asked in an open-ended question format what they miss doing the most since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the top response was freedom (20%), with friends (19%) and family (11%) coming in second and third. This was followed by dining out (10%), shopping (9%), working (7%) and church (6%). Fewer said entertainment (2%) and sports (1%).

Among the specific responses, one respondent missed, “Going into Burger King having a whopper, drinking a pop, and using the WiFi,” while another respondent, who invoked the tangible fear many Americans are now grappling with amid this new normal, said, “Working … I’m more than likely going to lose my business over everyone being scared.”

This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs‘ KnowledgePanel® April 1-2, 2020, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 559 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 4.8 points, including the design effect. See the poll’s topline results and details on the methodology here.

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