Some of those polled don't think we will ever get back to normal. Instead, they expect to adapt to life in a new normal — one that means rethinking how we do some activities.
The Monmouth poll found a key reason Americans are resigned to living with COVID is that most think some number of the people will never get vaccinated.
"We're going to need to get used to masking — not all the time, certainly not forever — but during the months where it's more likely to peak," Dr. Stephanie Silvera, an epidemiologist and professor of public health at Montclair State University, told FOX 5 NY. "So in the cold winter months where we're more likely to be indoors, where we know that respiratory illnesses spread quicker and more easily, I think that we might need to get used to wearing masks in those situations."
Silvera said people at higher risk will need to accept taking extra precautions more often than those at lower risk.
"If you are somebody who has two or more chronic conditions, for example, or comorbidities, then yes, you're going to want to make sure that you're wearing a mask anytime that you're out in public," Silvera said.
Most everyone does hope if COVID-19 lingers it will become less deadly and less contagious and life in a post-pandemic world looks more like our pre-pandemic lives.
"It seems more to be a realization that we are not going to get this virus under control in a way that we thought was possible just last year," Monmouth Polling Institute director Patrick Murray said in a statement. "A key factor in the public's inclination to accept having to live with Covid is the intransigence of a sizable segment of the population on vaccination. It seems unlikely that herd immunity could ever be achieved through preventative measures."