Sometimes being an outlier is a good thing. Case in point: People in the nine northeastern most states are kicking butt when it comes to social distancing.
At least that’s the indication from pollster Gallup.
A graphic from the company’s Gallup Panel indicates that New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and the six states east and north of them each have a higher percentage of residents avoiding public places than any other state. Gallup offered only a shaded map and not the individual percentages for each state, but the range is between 20% and 51% of respondents reporting that they are avoiding public places because of coronavirus.
The poll was conducted March 13-16, before the most stringent social distancing policies were imposed and is based on a random sample of 6,189 Gallup Panel members, aged 18 and older. The Gallup Panel allows for a quick “pulse” of U.S. adults’ opinions, according to its website.
In the broader sense, Americans everywhere appear to be taking social distancing seriously. Data from a separate poll indicates seven out of 10 Americans are now likely or very likely to comply with “shelter in place-style” orders, a big jump from a week ago.
“Majorities last weekend (March 14-15) were already avoiding traveling by airplane or mass transit and avoiding events with large crowds out of concern for coronavirus,” Gallup reported. “But with 20-point jumps in these behaviors this week, more than 70% of Americans are now on board with them.”
The pollster noted that the biggest jumps were in people avoiding public places like grocery stores and restaurants (+24 percentage points to 54% doing this) and those avoiding small social gatherings (+23 points to 46%).