Poll: How concerned are you about the Delta variant?

This summer was supposed to be a celebration, or at least a period of transition, when the U.S. could go from grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic to recovering from it.

For a while, things looked promising. Infections were down, and vaccinations were up. With the end of Virginia’s distancing and capacity restrictions came the return of eating at restaurants, summer concerts, traveling, socializing, and large-scale events, including Fourth of July festivities.

Just as white-collar offices were starting to bring workers in and students are preparing to head back to school, however, the Delta variant took over, and the immediate future doesn’t look quite so rosy. Mask-wearing is back in, and vaccine mandates could follow suit, since about a quarter of Fairfax County adults have yet to get a shot.

According to a recent poll by The Washington Post and George Mason University’s Schar School, 59% of respondents from D.C.’s Virginia suburbs say they have mostly or fully returned to normal, pre-pandemic lives. That’s lower than the national rate of 66% but higher than the overall D.C. region (50%).

Published on Sunday (Aug. 8), the poll surveyed 1,000 people nationwide and 1,000 people in the D.C. area from July 6-21, but conditions have changed since then, with all of Northern Virginia going from moderate to substantial community transmission in the past two weeks.

Has the rise of the Delta variant convinced you to change or cancel any plans recently? Are you thinking twice about eating at a restaurant or taking a summer vacation, or has the pandemic stopped factoring into your decision-making? If you’ve made a change that isn’t included in the poll, share in the comments below.

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