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Siena College Poll: 68% say worst of COVID-19 is over

The new study says 49% of New Yorkers have gained weight, while 38% say they have gotten in shape.

NEW YORK — A new poll out by Siena College says 68% of New Yorkers think that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is over. Seventeen-percent say the worst is still to come.

The poll out Tuesday shows more than 70% of people are at least somewhat comfortable having friends over to their home (84%), going to a beach or lakefront (80%), going on vacation in the U.S. (78%) and eating indoors at a restaurant (77%).

“While the vast majority are at least somewhat comfortable with summer activities like going to the beach or entertaining friends, only small majorities are comfortable seeing a movie at an indoor theater, attending a professional sporting event or being in a public space around many people that may or may not be wearing a mask,” said SCRI’s Director, Don Levy.  

Along with that, 49% of New Yorkers say they have gained weight while 38% have gotten in shape. 

“As most New Yorkers emerge from the coronavirus nightmare, some heavier, some in better shape and some dealing with mental health effects, most are comfortable spending time with friends, going to the beach or finally taking a vacation,” said Levy. “But despite fewer than one in five thinking the worst is still to come, nearly half remain worried about getting sick and 50 percent say it is at least somewhat likely that in the fall New York will experience a resurgence of COVID-19 infections.” 

Over the course of the pandemic, 51% have felt depressed during the pandemic while 44% say they have developed a new interest or hobby.

The poll also looked ahead to the fall, where 76% think it is somewhat or very likely many New Yorkers will continue to work remotely. Seventy-one percent expect public schools to reopen to full in-person instruction, without students or teachers wearing masks. 

“Looking to the fall, New Yorkers provide a mixed bag of hopefulness, concern and a recognition of a new world as we try to put the worst of the coronavirus behind us,” Levy said. “Sixty-nine percent think it somewhat or very likely that in the fall for many of us, it will feel like COVID-19 is over but simultaneously, half anticipate a resurgence. Over seventy percent think schools will reopen in-person without masks but 72 percent expect many schools and workplaces will continue to encourage both social distancing and the wearing of masks” 

The Siena College Poll was conducted from June 16-29, 2021 by random telephone calls to New York adults via landline and cell phones. To read more of the poll, click here.

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