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Poll: Half of Kentuckians say, from their point of view, the pandemic is effectively over

Josh James

While a solid majority of Kentuckians say the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, more than half say – from a personal perspective – it's essentially over.

A Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky survey of over 800 people found that, when it comes to the pandemic writ large, 65% agree it’s still with us. But at the same time, 53% of those polled said, when it comes to their own lives, the pandemic is essentially off the radar.

The Foundation’s Ben Chandler told WDRB the disconnect isn’t all that surprising.

"It ought to be clear to everybody, just by going out in public, that a sizable percentage of the people in Kentucky as if the pandemic is over."
Ben Chandler, Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky

That means taking trips, seeing family and friends, going to concerts, and sports games — the stuff of normal life pre-pandemic.

A number of factors are likely in play, from sheer fatigue to a public noticing the looser link between cases and hospitalizations. And then there are at-home tests, which are handy but also skew the official case counts, making them artificially low.

"The numbers themselves aren't really reflecting what's truly out there," Hall said in late July.

The Fayette County Health Department’s Kevin Hall says the department is still tracking trends exactly as it was before — and experts say it makes sense not to let one’s guard down, given the contagiousness of the current subvariants making the rounds.

Currently, most of the state is awash in red on the COVID-19 Community Level map, meaning most areas, including Lexington and Louisville, remain at high risk according to the Centers for Disease Control.