We’re still free, it just looks a lot different than normal

Things in a post pandemic world are already looking different. No College World Series in Omaha. No Czech Days in Wilbur. No Nebraskaland Days in North Platte. No Uncle Sam Jam in Lincoln. Word on the Nebraska State Fair is expected soon.

It comes as no surprise that folks in the U.S. have told an Associated Press poll that they are more unhappy today than they’ve been in nearly 50 years. This conclusion comes from the COVID Response Tracking Study, conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago. It finds that just 14% of American adults say they’re very happy, down from 31% who said the same in 2018. That year, 23% said they’d often or sometimes felt isolated in recent weeks. Now, 50% say that.

The survey, conducted in late May, draws on nearly a half-century of research from the General Social Survey, which has collected data on American attitudes and behaviors at least every other year since 1972. No less than 29% of Americans have ever called themselves very happy before.


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