Tag Archives: resuming

AP-NORC Poll: Many Americans Resuming Pre-Virus Activities

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (AP) — Many Americans are relaxing precautions taken during the COVID-19 pandemic and resuming everyday activities, even as some worry that coronavirus-related restrictions were hastily lifted, a new poll shows.

The poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that majorities of Americans who were regularly doing so before the pandemic say they are returning to bars or restaurants, traveling, and attending events such as movies or sports.

Just 21% are very or extremely worried about a COVID-19 infection in their inner circle — the lowest level since the pandemic began — and only 25% are highly concerned that the lifted restrictions will lead to additional people being infected in their community.

Andrea Moran, a 36-year-old freelance writer and mother of two boys, said she feels both relief and joy at the chance to resume “doing the little things,” such as having drinks on a restaurant patio with her husband.

“Honestly, I almost cried,” Moran said. “It’s such a feeling of having been through the wringer, and we’re finally starting to come out of it.”

Still, 34% of Americans think restrictions in their area have been lifted too quickly, while somewhat fewer — 27% — say they were not lifted quickly enough. About 4 in 10 rate the pace of reopening about right.

The way Americans approached their daily lives suddenly changed after COVID-19 spread through the US in early 2020. Following the advice of health officials and governments, people isolated in their homes — either alone or with families — to avoid exposure to the virus, which has sickened more than 33 million people and killed 600,000 people in the US.

During the height of the pandemic, restaurants, movie theaters, and stores either closed or continued operating with limited occupancy; church services, schools, and government meetings went virtual; and many employers made working from home an option or a requirement. Mask wearing in public became the norm in most places, with some states and cities making it mandatory.

The emergence of the vaccine has helped slow down rates of infection and death, allowing state and local economies to reopen and leading Americans to return to activities they once enjoyed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised last month that fully vaccinated Americans don’t have to wear a mask in most scenarios, indoors or out. The latest CDC data shows 53% of all Americans — 65% of those 18 and older — have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

According to the AP-NORC poll, American adults who have not yet rolled up their sleeves for the shot remain hesitant to do so. Just 7% of those who have not been vaccinated say they definitely will get a COVID-19 vaccine, and 15% say they probably will.

Forty-six percent of Americans who have not been vaccinated say they will definitely not get a vaccine, and 29% say they probably will not. Young adults, Americans without a college degree, white evangelicals, rural Americans, and Republicans are most hesitant to get vaccinated.

The poll finds many Americans are still wearing masks and taking precautions to avoid contact with other people, but the percentage of those doing so is down significantly from just a few months ago.

In late February, 65% said they were always wearing a mask around people outside their households. Now, just 37% say so, though 19% say they often wear one.

Forty percent of Americans say they are extremely or very likely to wear a mask when participating in indoor activities outside their homes, while just 28% say the same about outdoor activities.

Aaron Siever, 36, of New Market, Virginia, said he and his wife have consistently worn masks and taken other precautions, including getting vaccinated. But Siever said virus-related restrictions were not lifted quickly enough, lamenting that some precautions were politicized and caused an “inherent panic.”

“I think with masks being worn and people getting vaccinated, I think we could have opened a little earlier,” said Siever, who maintains the grounds of Civil War battlefields in Virginia. “We started focusing on the politics of reopening, rather than the health.”

Now that most states have lifted restrictions, the poll finds about two-thirds of Americans who used to travel at least monthly say they will do so in the next few weeks. About three-quarters of frequent restaurant or bar-goers before the pandemic say they will now return. A year ago, only about half said they would travel or go to restaurants if they could.

Likewise, more are returning to activities such as visiting friends and family, seeing movies or concerts, attending sporting events, and shopping in-person for nonessential items.

In Cookeville, Tennessee, Moran said her family still regularly wears masks in public, especially when they are indoors or around a lot of people. Both she and her husband have been vaccinated. Moran said she has eaten at outdoor restaurants, but she is avoiding indoor dining.

“Even if the air conditioning circulation is good, I just don’t feel comfortable right now going inside, where there’s a lot of people in fairly close proximity who I don’t know,” Moran said.

Moran said her family avoided nonessential travel during the height of the pandemic, canceling a trip to see her brother in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. But last weekend, the family traveled for the first time in more than a year — a roughly 3 1/2-hour road trip to Asheville, North Carolina, to visit a childhood friend.

“I felt a little bit nervous just because being around people is such a surreal thing after so long,” Moran said. “I was really excited and I was thrilled for my kids that they were able to get out and get back to some semblance of normality.”

The AP-NORC poll of 1125 adults was conducted June 10-14 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the US population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.2 points.

Hannah Fingerhut reported from Washington.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Medscape Medical News Headlines

Texas recommends resuming Johnson & Johnson vaccine shots after CDC, FDA give green light

Author: Karen Brooks Harper
This post originally appeared on The Texas Tribune: Main Feed

Parler claims it alerted FBI to threats before Capitol riot

Social media platform Parler revealed that it flagged concerning material for the FBI ahead of the January 6 U.S. Capitol riot. Meanwhile, a leading senator expressed serious concerns around Facebook’s handling of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on both Facebook and Instagram, and new data shows schools are increasingly moving back into in-person learning.

PARLER WRINKLE: Parler flagged material posted on its platform to the FBI in the run-up to the violent insurrection at the Capitol in January, the conservative social media network claimed in a letter to a lawmaker.

In the letter dated Thursday to House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn MaloneyPelosi, White House recognize Equal Pay Day Robinhood confidentially files for IPO Political fireworks fuel DC statehood hearing MORE[6][7][8][9][10][5] (D-N.Y.), lawyers for the platform said that the company referred violent content to the agency more than 50 times.

The lawyers noted that some of those flagged posts included threats specific to the Capitol, where five people died during an attempt to stop Congress from verifying President BidenJoe BidenThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden shifts on filibuster GOP looks to squeeze Biden, Democrats on border Sanders creates new headache for Biden on taxes MORE[12][13][14][15][16][11]’s Electoral College win.

“Far from being the far-right instigator and rogue company that Big Tech has portrayed Parler to be, the facts conclusively demonstrate that Parler has been a responsible and law-abiding company focused on ensuring that only free and lawful speech exists on its platform,” the lawyers wrote.

The letter includes a screenshot of what appears to be an email correspondence between Parler and the FBI.

A spokesperson for the FBI declined to comment.

Parler, which has pitched itself as a free speech alternative platform to Facebook and Twitter, has been criticized for being rife with content about storming Congress before Jan. 6.

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Shortly after the attack, it was blocked from the Apple and Google app stores and subsequently dropped by Amazon Web Services, functionally taking the service offline.

The platform announced last month that it would be relaunching.

Read more.[17]

MISINFORMATION CONCERNS ABOUND: Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner[18] (D-Va.) on Friday pressed Facebook to do more to combat the spread of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on both its platform and Instagram.

In a letter[19] to Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden shifts on filibuster Hillicon Valley: Another Big Tech hearing | Cyber Command flexes operations | Trump’s social media site in the works Lawmakers vent frustration in first hearing with tech CEOs since Capitol riot MORE[21][22][23][24][25][20], Warner detailed his concerns that the social media giant is not doing enough to get a handle on the increasing tide of misleading information around the safety of the vaccines.

“Anti-vaccination groups and other health conspiracy groups have long utilized – and been enabled by – Facebook’s platforms to disseminate misinformation,” Warner wrote. “Studies show a rapid increase in the spread of health misinformation online since the start of the pandemic.”

The letter was sent the day after Zuckerberg testified[26] before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on the topic of misinformation on Facebook, particularly around COVID-19 and the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.

Zuckerberg detailed Facebook’s efforts to combat coronavirus vaccine misinformation on both Facebook and Instagram in his prepared testimony, noting that “we have made fighting misinformation and providing people with authoritative information a priority for the company.”

Read more about Warner’s concerns here. [27]

SCHOOL’S BACK (SORT OF): About a third of school districts across the nation have resumed in-person learning, while just 1 in 10 school districts continue teaching students entirely remotely, according to a new tracker launched to measure the way local schools adapt to the coronavirus pandemic.

The data shows that school districts across the South are the most likely to have sent children back to school already, while California has the highest concentration of districts that remain remote.

But the lack of a clear national strategy for reopening schools, a problem that is only beginning to be addressed as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention roll out new recommendations for distancing, air circulation and sanitation requirements, has kept most school districts in some kind of hybrid learning environment.

The data, maintained by Return to Learn, a joint project of the American Enterprise Institute and the College Crisis Initiative at Davidson College, shows 54 percent of school districts still operating school in some kind of hybrid model, in which kids attend class in person some days and virtually on others.[28]

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Read more about the move back to in-person learning.[29]

ANTITRUST OFFICIAL INCOMING: President Biden’s team is reportedly vetting a lawyer who served as the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) general counsel under former President Obama for a top antitrust post. [30]

According to Politico, which cited two sources familiar with the matter, Jonathan Sallet, who played a key role in formulating the FCC’s net neutrality rules, has been in talks for several weeks now for a top role to work on Biden’s competition policy. [31]

One potential position Sallet could take on is leading the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, where Sallet served as deputy assistant attorney general for litigation from 2016 to 2017.

Read more here. [32]

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Lighter click: Please stop backseat steering![33]

An op-ed to chew on: The cybersecurity problem we should really worry about [34]

NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB: 

Hackers target German lawmakers in an election year (CyberScoop / Sean Lyngaas)[35]

The Hidden Hand Of Facial Recognition In The Capitol Insurrection Manhunt (HuffPost / Ryan J. Reilly and Jesselyn Cook)[36]

How Intel got blindsided by China’s culture wars (Protocol / Shen Lu) [37]

Why Microsoft wants Discord (The Verge / Tom Warren)[38]

References

  1. ^ HERE.  (www.email.thehill.com)
  2. ^ @magmill95 (twitter.com)
  3. ^ @chrisismills (twitter.com)
  4. ^ @rebeccaklar_ (twitter.com)
  5. ^ Carolyn Maloney (thehill.com)
  6. ^ Carolyn Maloney (thehill.com)
  7. ^ Pelosi, White House recognize Equal Pay Day (thehill.com)
  8. ^ Robinhood confidentially files for IPO (thehill.com)
  9. ^ Political fireworks fuel DC statehood hearing (thehill.com)
  10. ^ MORE (thehill.com)
  11. ^ President Biden (thehill.com)
  12. ^ Joe Biden (thehill.com)
  13. ^ The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden shifts on filibuster (thehill.com)
  14. ^ GOP looks to squeeze Biden, Democrats on border (thehill.com)
  15. ^ Sanders creates new headache for Biden on taxes (thehill.com)
  16. ^ MORE (thehill.com)
  17. ^ Read more. (thehill.com)
  18. ^ Mark Warner (thehill.com)
  19. ^ letter (www.warner.senate.gov)
  20. ^ Mark Zuckerberg (thehill.com)
  21. ^ Mark Elliot Zuckerberg (thehill.com)
  22. ^ The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden shifts on filibuster (thehill.com)
  23. ^ Hillicon Valley: Another Big Tech hearing | Cyber Command flexes operations | Trump’s social media site in the works (thehill.com)
  24. ^ Lawmakers vent frustration in first hearing with tech CEOs since Capitol riot (thehill.com)
  25. ^ MORE (thehill.com)
  26. ^ testified (thehill.com)
  27. ^ Read more about Warner’s concerns here.  (thehill.com)
  28. ^ maintained by Return to Learn (www.returntolearntracker.net)
  29. ^ Read more about the move back to in-person learning. (thehill.com)
  30. ^ President Biden (thehill.com)
  31. ^ Politico (www.politico.com)
  32. ^ Read more here.  (thehill.com)
  33. ^ Please stop backseat steering! (twitter.com)
  34. ^ The cybersecurity problem we should really worry about  (thehill.com)
  35. ^ target German lawmakers (www.cyberscoop.com)
  36. ^ Hidden Hand (www.huffpost.com)
  37. ^ blindsided (www.protocol.com)
  38. ^ Microsoft wants (www.theverge.com)

Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill’s newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don’t already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter by clicking HERE. [1]

Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.[2][3][4]

[email protected] (Maggie Miller,Chris Mills Rodrigo and Rebecca Klar)