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The Discourse Blog Reader Survey: What Are the New Rules of the Pandemic?

In our first reader survey, we asked about masks, vaccines, traveling, and whether you're posting your group hangs on social media.

Reader survey graphic

Could we really be at the beginning of the end? As more and more Americans are getting vaccinated, we’ve entered a new phase of the pandemic where we can see the faint light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, with President Joe Biden saying we might return to a sense of “normal” by the July 4 holiday.

But in the slow trudge toward the summer, we’re all in a tricky spot: You might be partially (or even fully!) vaccinated, but your friends and family might not, or vice-versa. The rules we’ve lived by for the past year (masks, social distancing, etc.) are rapidly changing in front of us, and finding our way through them has provoked its own set of dramas.


How Is It a Year Already

So our own Katherine Krueger asked our readers about how they’re navigating this part of the pandemic and how vaccines have changed their attitudes about what is (and what isn’t) appropriate. Our highly unscientific survey was sent out by email this week and below are the results from 358 readers.

Thanks to Katherine for coming up with the questions! Have your own idea for a future survey? Send your ideas to

Do you double-take (or judge) someone not wearing a mask indoors?

What if they’re not wearing a mask but they’re outdoors and a safe distance away from people outside their immediate household?

How big of a gathering of a group of people feels OK to you?

Same question, but everyone is masked.

Same question, but you (somehow) know everyone is vaccinated.

Do you feel comfortable inviting a small number of close friends into your home?

Do you feel comfortable inviting a small group of friends to hang out outdoors, like in a park or on a stoop?

If yes, would you post photos or videos of the gathering on social media?

Would you be more likely to post on social media about a gathering if you have a private or locked account or on your Instagram “close friends” list?

Would you ask someone about their vaccine eligibility?

If they respond that they’re eligible, would you ask them why?


I’m Getting Vaccinated Because of Fatphobia

If someone publicly states that they’ve been vaccinated, should they be allowed to resume “normal” activities like going to small parties or drinking indoors at a bar?

If someone has only had the first dose of a two-shot vaccine, should they be allowed to resume “normal” activities?

If or when you’re vaccinated, would you feel comfortable traveling?

If you would feel comfortable traveling, would you post about it on your social media?