Most plan to continue health precautions post-pandemic

A survey found that most Americans plan to continue wearing masks, avoiding crowds, and frequent handwashing after even when the pandemic is over.

Americans are willing to keep up behaviors implemented due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic even once the virus is brought under control.

According to a news release, a national survey with more than 2,000 respondents performed by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found that 72 percent of American plan to keep wearing masks in public, 80 percent will still avoid crowds, and 90 percent say they will continue frequent hand washing and sanitizing.

"While the progress we're making toward recovery is exciting, it's critical that we don't ease up on the precautions that we know have worked thus far," Iahn Gonsenhauser, MD, chief quality and patient safety officer at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, says in the release. "Masks and physical distancing are still our best weapons for limiting spread and, now that we have a vaccine, will make those precautions even more effective and will drive new cases way down if we stay the course."

He said that the results were promising considering the positive effect these health efforts have had in this year’s flu season.

"Flu cases and hospitalizations are way down compared to recent years. A lot of that is likely because precautions like masking, physical distancing and hand hygiene are working to prevent the flu," Gonsenhauser says in the release. "I think a lot of people realize what we've learned from COVID-19 can be applied more generally to keep our population healthy."