Poll: Two-thirds of Americans say they’ll put on masks when sick post-pandemic

A mother and her child wait in line for a COVID-19 test
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Two-thirds of Americans say they will continue to wear masks when sick and dress in comfortable clothing more often once the pandemic ends, according to a new poll.

The poll, conducted by The Washington Post and the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, found that 67 percent of Americans plan to wear masks when sick after the pandemic ends, with 31 percent saying they do not plan on doing do.

Sixty-six percent of those polled said they will wear comfortable clothing more often after the threat of COVID-19 ends, with 31 percent saying they will not.

The poll comes as cases of the coronavirus skyrocket amid a new wave of cases of the delta variant, which is highly contagious. Outbreaks have raised new questions about just when the United States will really move beyond the pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, warned on Wednesday that the U.S. could see up to 200,000 COVID-19 cases a day in the fall.

The poll found that even when the pandemic ends, some health safety measures implemented over the past year and a half may remain intact.

Forty-three percent of those polled said they plan to still wear masks in crowded places after COVID-19 is no longer a threat. Fifty-four percent, however, said they do not plan to still use face coverings.

Virtual communication may also continue to be popular once the pandemic ends. Forty-six percent of Americans said they plan to still socialize with family or friends virtually, compared to 52 percent who said they do not.

Forty-one percent of those polled said they will still schedule telehealth appointments with doctors, compared to 57 percent who said they will not.

A majority of Americans also signaled that they will spend more time outdoors after the pandemic. Seventy-three percent of those polled said they plan to do so, with only 27 percent saying they do not.

The poll surveyed 1,000 adults nationally between July 6 and July 21. The margin of error is plus or minus four percentage points.

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