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Almost half in new poll say they have formed social 'bubbles' amid pandemic

Almost half in new poll say they have formed social 'bubbles' amid pandemic
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Nearly half of Americans said they have formed social “bubbles” of people they feel safe interacting with during the coronavirus pandemic, according to new polling from Axios.

Forty-seven percent of respondents said they had established such an informal group of people they trust to take precautions to avoid spreading the virus, compared to 53 percent who have not, the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index found.

Women — at 51 percent — were more likely to say they had formed a bubble. Comparatively, 42 percent of men said they have.

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Fifty percent of suburbanites said they have formed a bubble, compared to 45 percent of urban respondents and 41 percent of rural respondents. The age group most likely to have formed a bubble was people 65 or older, at 54 percent. Forty-five percent of both those between 50 and 64 and between 18 and 29 also said they had, as did 44 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds.

Despite a partisan split in many polls about the virus, no such gap existed on the issue of social bubbles. There was no statistical difference in the percentage of Democrats — 50 percent — and Republicans — 49 percent — who have established bubbles. Independents were slightly less likely, with 42 percent.

Broken down by race, the polling found 49 percent of Black Americans, 47 percent of white Americans and 41 percent of Hispanics reported establishing bubbles.

"It’s an indicator of how we’ve adjusted our lives. It’s reinforcing our networks, it’s reinforcing those who are proximate to us,” Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs, told Axios. "This is one way people feel like they have some control. They’re trying to have a normal life with people they can trust."

Pollsters surveyed 1,076 adults between July 24 and July 27. The poll has a 3.1-percentage point margin of error.