Are Americans showing quarantine fatigue?

Hoang NguyenData Journalist
April 28, 2020, 4:00 PM GMT+0

Heading into the second month of coronavirus shut-downs, many Americans are tense.

YouGov polling from over the weekend (April 24-26) finds that one in five Americans believe that the current level of restrictions imposed on people like them are too severe (20%).

The fatigue is heightened in the West (24%) where people are more likely to believe the restrictions are severe.

More than a quarter of Americans say the level of restrictions haven’t gone far enough (26%). This is especially true of people who live in the South, 30 percent of whom say the current level of restrictions are not severe enough. Georgia is under particular scrutiny after it began to ease its coronavirus restrictions ahead of recommendations.

Notably, Southerners are also the most likely to say they will ignore government advice and do their own thing instead (21% vs. 19% of US adults; a statistically significant difference). Across all four regions, Americans are more likely to say they will follow the advice of the government (68%) than ignore it (19%).

In recent weeks, groups around the country have organized to protest against lockdown orders put in place by state and local leaders. Some claim that their governors are violating constitutional rights by imposing shelter-in-place orders. YouGov data indicates, however, that most Americans don’t agree with this idea. A separate YouGov poll of more than 9,000 Americans conducted in April finds that nearly two in three (64%) of Americans say that state lockdowns are constitutional and do not violate any rights.

What matters more—lives or the economy?

As we approach May, the United States continues to grapple with limiting the spread of COVID-19 and revitalizing an economy that took a turn for the worse since the pandemic began. Both measures are important—but by nearly three to one—Americans indicate that trying to save every life (60%) is more important than protecting the economy (21%).

This idea holds up across much of the United States, though it varies somewhat from region to region. People who reside in the Northeast, for example, are significantly more likely to say people’s lives (65%) matter more than the economy (13%). Under six in 10 (57%) people who reside in the South say lives matter more. Americans who live in the West exhibit the highest rate of those who say the economy matters more (21%).


This YouGov survey is based on the interviews of 3,954 US adults aged 18 and over between April 24-26. All interviews were conducted online between April 24-26 and results are weighed to nationally representative.

Explore the latest public opinion polling on the topic of COVID-19:

Image: Getty

Explore more data & articles