Skip to navigationSkip to content
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
Good, but not excellent.
KEEPING AWAY FROM THE JONESES

Americans think they are better at social-distancing than their neighbors

Jenni Avins
By Jenni Avins

senior lifestyle correspondent

From our Obsession

Being Human

We’ve never been as connected, or as isolated.

The coronavirus might prevent Americans from socializing with our neighbors, but it can’t stop us from judging them. A sheer scarf is not a mask. Wow, another Amazon delivery?

The Kaiser Family Foundation recently surveyed more than 1,000 adults living in the US about their experiences with coronavirus and social-distancing. Asked to grade themselves and their neighbors, more than half of those surveyed gave themselves an “A” for “excellent” when it came to following social-distancing guidelines—a grade only about 35% bestowed upon their neighbors. 24% of respondents gave their neighbors a grade of C or below (“average,” “poor,” or “failing”). Only 11% of people graded themselves so poorly.

Most people also think they’re a little better than the people they live with. 90% of respondents said they are either “excellent” or “good” at social-distancing, but only 83% are sure this is true of others in their household.

The vast majority of those surveyed—84%—said their lives had been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. Still, 80% felt that social-distancing and shelter-in-place guidelines were worthwhile to prevent further spread of the virus. If only everyone were as excellent at it as they are.

Want a calm, rational, even curious approach to coronavirus? We’ve got an email for that.