Common ground among Americans is becoming more and more difficult to find, but the results of a recent survey show, when it comes to the spread of COVID-19 at least, members of both major political parties are seeing eye to eye.

The latest American Psychological Association poll indicates that 65% of Republicans and 88% of Democrats say they find preventive measures like wearing masks and physical distancing to be reassuring. Participants also agreed that it’s stressful to be around other people when they fail to take those preventive steps (66% of Republicans and 87% of Democrats).

We normally don’t place much stock in surveys, since many people contacted refuse to take part, skewing the results and distorting the true shape of public opinion, and others may not be honest when responding. Some people fib for sport. We remember that numerous polls showed Donald Trump trailing Hillary Clinton badly in 2016, that he didn’t stand a snowball’s chance in Hawaii of winning the presidency, but we all know how that turned out.

On the other hand, surveys do provide a snapshot of the nation’s psyche and the new poll is worth a look. 

Many individuals from both parties agree that people are acting as if the coronavirus pandemic is over, with 75% of Republicans and 86% of Democrats of that belief. Although two-thirds of Democrats (66%) and Republicans (71%) say they are confident they can protect themselves from COVID-19, more than half of U.S. adults (58%) wish they had more information about how to keep themselves and/or their family healthy as the U.S. reopens.

The online survey conducted by The Harris Poll from June 23 to July 6 included 3,010 people 18 years old and over. It was the group’s third “pulse check” of the nation’s stress and mental health to gauge the impact of the pandemic and civil unrest.

“As our nation continues to grapple with so much adversity, it is reassuring to see that we stand united on important issues that will help our nation heal,” said Arthur C. Evans Jr., the association’s chief executive officer. “The coronavirus doesn’t recognize political boundaries, so our country will be best served if we come together in a bipartisan effort in this historic fight to overcome the pandemic — a common enemy.”

We want our elected leaders to stop pointing fingers and bickering and instead harness their collective energy and spend it trying to defeat the current adversary of humankind.

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