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Morning Poll: Which are you more worried about?

People in line for Covid testing in Courthouse, where the line wrapped around the block (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

On Tuesday Arlington’s seven-day moving average of Covid cases set another record.

Just shy of 200 people are testing positive for the virus in Arlington each day, on average, according to Virginia Dept. of Health data. Lines for local Covid testing sites stretch around multiple blocks. And yet, people are (mostly) still traveling for the holidays, dining at restaurants and generally living their lives.

Also, while local cases are skyrocketing — amid the Omicron variant wave that’s sweeping across the country — Covid-related hospitalizations remain at modest levels: just over one per day, on average, in Arlington. Hospitalizations are a lagging indicator, but the lack of a big spike is an encouraging sign that the vaccines are working and, perhaps, Omicron is not as deadly as past variants.

Meanwhile, there’s another worry on the minds of people this holiday season: inflation. Rising prices in the grocery store, at the gas pump and even the pizzeria elsewhere have put a squeeze on many people’s finances.

“U.S. inflation is at its highest rate in nearly four decades this fall, reaching 6.8% in November from a year ago,” the Wall Street Journal recently reported. “Consumers are seeing prices rise sharply for a variety of goods and services because of persistent supply and labor shortages and strong demand.”

Some of the price increases are being partially offset by rising wages, but there are still worries that inflation could continue and, together with rising real estate prices, make it tough for some households to make ends meet.

Given all of that, we’re wondering this morning — while acknowledging the incredible human toll of the pandemic overall — whether Arlington residents are currently more worried about the rises in Covid or inflation.

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