Recent polling shows that many Americans feel the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, but their daily activities and decision-making are back to what they were before the pandemic began.

Gallup poll released Monday showed that 66% of Americans responded that the pandemic is not over. Still, a significant third of respondents (34%) feel that the pandemic is over, which is up from 2021. In 2021, 29% said that the pandemic was over.

Still, if the pandemic is not over, many believe that it would last through the end of 2022 (40%). Few believe it will only last a few more weeks (11%) or months (16%). Only 34% think the pandemic will last into 2023.

Around the world, COVID-19 related restrictions are looser to almost non-existent. In the U.S., most places have no mask mandates or advise masks but do not mandate them. For some, life is back to what it was pre-pandemic, although cases in the U.S. are rising.

Many Americans are split about whether their lives will ever completely return to normal. When asked how long it will take to return to normal, half responded that their lives will never completely return to normal. The rest (17%) think "normal" will come within a few weeks to sometimes within the next year or near future. Meanwhile, only 21% believe their lives already returned to normal.

When asked if their lives are already back to pre-pandemic normal, 21% say their lives are in no way back to normal. Fifty-eight percent said their lives are only somewhat back to normal.

While half of the respondents believe life will never return to normal, Gallup noted that people are more optimistic about the COVID-19 pandemic's trajectory.

"This latest wave of optimism that the end of the pandemic may be in reach is higher than last summer prior to the arrival of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in the U.S. That optimism was short-lived last summer," Gallup said.

A man is seen silhouetted wearing a protective face mask, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, walking near the financial district of New York City A man is seen silhouetted wearing a protective face mask, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, walking near the financial district of New York City, U.S., October 18, 2021. Photo: Reuters / SHANNON STAPLETON