Survey: Many Plan To Wear Masks, Socially Distance After The Pandemic

A new survey found many Americans plan to stick to certain public health guidance even when COVID-19 is a thing of the past.

Survey: Many Plan To Wear Masks, Socially Distance After The Pandemic

Mike Nicholson and his family are looking forward to getting back to normal when the pandemic ends. But now that “normal” may include some COVID-19 health precautions.

"Just the social distance piece, wearing masks," he said.

He’s not alone. A new national survey of more than 2,000 Americans by the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center finds many plan to keep up with public health precautions even after the pandemic passes.

Nearly three-quarters say they plan to wear masks in public, four out of five will still avoid crowds, and 90% say they'll continue frequent hand-washing and sanitizer use. 

“The risk is still very real in the community. And we can't let people ease off on the precautions that we know have worked thus far,” Dr. Iahn Gonsenhauser, chief quality and patient safety officer at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said.

Gonsenhauser thinks as restrictions lift, these practices will also provide a sense of comfort and control as pandemic fears linger. 

"We've seen flu numbers way down. We've seen hospitalizations way down. We're seeing the precautions of masking and physical distancing and hand hygiene absolutely working for flu," he said.

"We haven't had any, you know, illnesses in this house shoot for the whole of last year. No cold, no flu," Nicholson said.

As for Mike Nicholson, it’s not just happening at home. His fitness classes have been virtual or at limited capacity. He’s still considering how that will look post-pandemic. 

"If everyone does their part, we'll get around that corner sooner than later," he said.