Mask Wearing Declines Even as COVID Spreads

Mask Wearing Declines Even as COVID Spreads

By Ernie Mundell

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Dec. 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Despite extra Americans saying they know somebody who’s been sickened and even died from COVID-19, there’s been a decline within the share who say they at all times put on a masks once they go away their house.

Two-thirds (66%) of U.S. adults surveyed in a brand new HealthDay/Harris Poll stated they “always” donned a masks when leaving their house and weren’t capable of socially distance, in contrast with 72% in a ballot performed in October. The proportion of Americans who now say they put on a masks outdoors the house is edging nearer to the 61% reported in an August survey performed by The Harris Poll.

The new ballot of two,027 adults aged 18 and older was performed on-line from Dec. 8 to 10 by The Harris Poll.

The decline in masks sporting is stunning, on condition that the identical ballot finds the proportion of Americans with a direct connection to COVID-19 is on the rise.

Close to two-thirds of U.S. adults (63%) stated they or somebody they know (together with acquaintances) had been hospitalized because of, or handed away from, COVID-19, and half (50%) stated that they had direct expertise with COVID-19. That consists of:

  • Having personally had (9%) or been hospitalized (5%) because of COVID-19.
  • Residing in a family with somebody who had it (8%).
  • Having a detailed good friend/member of the family/cherished one outdoors of their family who had it (42%), was hospitalized (23%), or handed away (16%).

Overall, greater than two in 5 U.S. adults (43%) now know somebody who has been hospitalized or handed away because of COVID-19.

“As COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. continue to rise, our current survey data put this harrowing reality into further perspective,” stated Kathy Steinberg, vp of analysis for public launch at The Harris Poll.

“The majority of Americans have close connection to the serious impacts of the virus, as 43% know someone who has been hospitalized or passed away from COVID-19, which is up from 36% just two months ago in October,” she famous.


“Despite these frightening and shared experiences, the proportion of Americans who frequently wear a mask is declining, especially for men and younger adults,” Steinberg stated. “It will be crucial to reinforce the continued importance of masks and social distancing even as vaccine distribution begins.”

As seen in prior polls, partisanship is carefully tied with selections round masks use. In the brand new ballot, 71% of Democrats stated they “always” put on a masks when leaving their house, versus 61% of Republicans.

Still, constant masks sporting has declined amongst all events since October, when a ballot pegged charges at 82% amongst Democrats, 66% amongst Republicans and 69% amongst Independents.

Age and gender appeared to matter in selections round masks use, too. According to the December ballot, whereas 80% of individuals aged 65 and over stated they at all times wore a masks outdoors of the house, that quantity dropped to 77% for these aged 55 to 64; 62% for these aged 45 to 54; 64% for these aged 35 to 44; and simply 53% for folks 18 to 34.

Women (72%) have been extra possible than males (59%) to say they “always” wore a masks, whereas males have been extra prone to say “rarely/never” (11% versus 5%).

One professional had some theories about why masks sporting is declining as extra persons are affected by the pandemic.

“Although it is not clear why there is a disconnect between less stringent mask wearing and increased exposure to loved ones sick or dying of COVID, some theories are being considered,” stated Dr. Teresa Murray Amato, chair of emergency medication at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills, in New York City.

“The pandemic has been active in the United States for several months and people have had to undergo quarantining, social isolation and disruption in normal routines,” she stated.

“Wearing a mask for some means having to acknowledge that we are still in a pandemic and that life has not returned to what it was. For others, it may be that hearing about the vaccine rolling out represents hope and the feeling that we are no longer going to need to wear masks,” Amato added.


“This finding is troubling for those of us in health care, as we know that wearing a mask will significantly reduce the chance of both transmitting and acquiring the infection,” she stated. “And although we are very hopeful about the vaccines, we do not have enough data to know if vaccination will stop the transmission of the virus.”

Another professional harassed that masks sporting is extra necessary than ever.

“Now that much more is known about how to treat the disease early, the fact that there are therapeutics now that help with the early disease management, and the vaccine is here and is beginning to be administered gives us a real hope that there is a way out of this pandemic,” stated Dr. Theodore Strange, interim chair of medication at Staten Island University Hospital, in New York City.

“It will take a few more months, even up to a year; but not individually doing all our parts to curtail the spread and potentially devastating effects for some is not fair to ourselves, our families, our friends and our community at large as we come to this point of hope to end this scourge,” Strange added.

More info

There’s extra on how one can assist forestall transmission of the brand new coronavirus on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: HealthDay/Harris Poll, Dec. 8-10, 2020; Kathy Steinberg, vp of analysis for public launch, The Harris Poll; Teresa Murray Amato, MD, chair, emergency medication, Long Island Jewish Forest Hills, New York City; Theodore Strange, MD, interim chair, medication, Staten Island University Hospital, New York City

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