by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
The pandemic will have long-lasting effects that go well beyond our physical health. We know kids, parents, and teachers face daunting challenges due to lost time in the classroom and a complete flip flop in the learning environment, with some adapting and others left behind. We know elderly people in nursing homes are scarred, having been denied the touch and loving in-person care of their families.
Now it’s becoming clear that some people — those on the left of the ideological and political spectrum – don’t believe in the good judgment of their friends and neighbors. Exhibit A: the new Gallup poll detailed below. The Gallup polling data comes at a time when 64% of U.S. adults have received at least one COVID-19 jab, with 53% of adults fully vaccinated.
At first glance the Gallup narrative and chart sound positive:
As a sense of normalcy returns, Americans have become less likely to believe that the best advice for healthy people during the pandemic is to stay home to help prevent the spread of the virus, dropping from 91% in March 2020 to 67% at the start of this year to 44% now. In fact, for the first time in Gallup’s COVID tracking, a majority (56%) say the better advice is for people to live their normal lives as much as possible.
But then there’s this (emphasis is mine):
As seen previously, there is a substantial partisan divide on the advice question, with 87% of Republicans versus 64% of independents and 29% of Democrats recommending people should strive to lead their normal lives. Conversely, 71% of Democrats believe people should stay home as much as possible, although this is down from 85% in April.
Let’s review. Nearly two out of three U.S. adults have the protection from COVID-19 provided by one shot of the vaccine, with 53% fully protected. Gallup asked what advice should be given to healthy people who have no symptoms of COVID, and 7 out of 10 Democrats say these healthy people should stay home.
Let that sink in.
So if healthy people should stay home, how can life ever return to normal? How will our economy recover? How will our kids develop academically and socially? How will we pursue our dreams? Enjoy the outdoors? Make friends? Get married? In short, how will we be ourselves again? Will we forever be dependent on government subsidies? That seems to be the vision of 71% of Democrats.
Sad and scary at the same time.