COLONIE — The majority of New Yorkers, 62 percent, think the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is yet to come while just 27 percent think the worst is behind us, according to a poll released Monday by the Siena College Research Institute.
By a wider margin, 70-22 percent, residents prefer the government contain the spread of the virus, even if it hurts the economy.
“Majorities of every demographic, except Republicans, think that we haven’t seen the worst of the pandemic, and majorities of every demographic want the government to concentrate on containing the virus even if the economy suffers,” according to SCRI Director, Don Levy. “Nearly 80 percent are concerned that they, or another member of their household, will get sick with COVID-19.”
To do their part in containing the virus the vast majority, 56 percent completely and 36 percent as much as they can, practice social distancing, 64 percent completely and 31 percent as much as they can wash hands after touching any surface and 73 percent completely and 17 as much as they can wear masks outside the home, according to the poll.
Thirty-nine percent are very concerned and the same number are somewhat concerned they or a member of their household will be infected with the virus.
Looking to the future, 18 percent of New Yorkers think it very likely and 46 percent say it is somewhat likely schools will open in September.
At the same time, a larger majority, 82 percent think it is either very or somewhat likely we will face another large outbreak of COVID-19 this fall.
As the state reopens, people will again engage in different activities:
- 64 percent say they are very or somewhat comfortable playing sports like tennis or golf or other activities that lend themselves to social distance protocols.
- 56 percent say they are very or somewhat comfortable visiting a beach or lakeside
- 61 percent are very or comfortable going to a playground or park
- 60 percent are comfortable going to a barber shop or beauty salon
- 65 percent are comfortable eating in an outdoor area of a restaurant
- 35 percent are comfortable eating in an indoor area of a restaurant
An overwhelming majority, 81 percent, think systematic racism is either a very or somewhat of a serious problem in York while one third of all New Yorkers, and 71 percent of Blacks across the state, often witness or hear about people in the state being discriminated against because of their race or ethnicity.
Only 29 percent of residents say they seldom or never are aware of racial or ethnic discrimination.
“New Yorkers agree, systemic racism is a problem,” Levy said. “Dramatic majorities of every demographic by party, age, race and region think systemic racism is at least a somewhat serious if not a very serious problem. And while 36 percent describe themselves as ‘not racist’, 53 percent prefer to say that they are ‘anti-rascist.’”
The poll was conducted from June 28 to July 2 by making 410 phone calls to adults via landline and cell phone. It carries a +/- 3.7 percent margin of error.