Federal and state governments continue to shift their talk from restrictions to reopening, hoping to rescue a reeling private sector and save jobs. According to a new survey from Pew Research, that optimism hasn’t yet reached most Americans. While discussions of peaks and downslopes have dominated the news of late, almost three-quarters of Americans think that the COVID-19 pandemic crisis will get worse before it gets better:

As the death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to spiral, most Americans do not foresee a quick end to the crisis. In fact, 73% say that in thinking about the problems the country is facing from the coronavirus outbreak, the worst is still to come.

With the Trump administration and many state governors actively considering ways to revive the stalled U.S. economy, the public strikes a decidedly cautious note on easing strict limits on public activity. About twice as many Americans say their greater concern is that state governments will lift restrictions on public activity too quickly (66%) than not quickly enough (32%).

This question has an odd partisan tinge to it, more so than the optimism/pessimism question. Democrats appear much more reluctant to get back to normal, although there is a possible non-partisan explanation for that:

Democrats are largely united in their concerns over state governments easing bans on public activity; 81% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say their greater concern is that governments will lift these restrictions too quickly. Yet Republicans and Republican leaners are evenly divided. About half (51%) say their bigger concern is that state governments will act too quickly while slightly fewer (46%) worry more that restrictions on public movement will not be lifted quickly enough.

The Pew report offers some breakout data on demographics for this question, but not in the demos where it likely matters most — geography. Republicans tend to come from suburbs, exurbs, and rural areas, where population density is lower and so then a somewhat lesser threat of rapid transmission. Democrats tend to come from first-ring suburbs and urban areas where the threat of rapid transmission is much higher and where social distancing is much more difficult. Absent the data it’s tough to say, but it’s at least a good possibility that we’re seeing a rational reaction based not on partisanship but just the personal circumstances of these respondents.

That might also explain some of the pessimism split, too. Majorities of both parties are pessimistic about the idea that we’ve seen the worst, but Democrats are quite a bit more pessimistic (85/13) than Republicans (56/42). There’s very little difference between the ideological splits within Democrats on that, but moderate-liberal Republicans are significantly more pessimistic (68/30). Might they also be more likely to live closer to denser population centers?

Pew also headlines the critical view of Donald Trump’s early response to the crisis, in which 65% say he was too slow to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. That outcome is wildly partisan, of course, with a 66/23 positive rating from Republicans and a (ahem) 7/92 among Democrats. A majority of respondents also think Trump is being overly optimistic about the situation now (52/39). However, Pew also notes that a majority of respondents believe Trump is doing a good or excellent job in handling the economic aspects of the crisis now in regard to business (51%), with pluralities in other aspects of his crisis management.

In order to reopen the economy, Trump and the governors will have to overcome the pessimism seen in this survey. Open marketplaces won’t matter much if people don’t show up in significant numbers to engage in economic activity in them. The key to reopening is widespread, effective, and accurate testing to rebuild confidence in public engagement. How close are we to that? NBC News is … pessimistic:

Testing for the coronavirus would have to be at least doubled or tripled from its current levels to allow for even a partial reopening of America’s economy, public health experts say, but it is unclear how soon such an ambitious goal could be reached amid persistent shortages of testing supplies and a lack of coordination from the Trump administration.

Without diagnostic testing on a massive scale, federal and state officials and private companies will lack a clear picture of who has been infected, who can safely return to work, how the virus is spreading and when stay-at-home orders can be eased, public health experts say.

“We are an order of magnitude off right now from where we should be,” said Dylan George, an expert in infectious disease modeling who advised the administration of President Barack Obama in combating the Ebola epidemic. “Testing is the perpetual problem here.”

Widespread testing is the key, agrees CDC director Robert Redfield. “It will be a step-by-step, prudent process,” he tells Today’s Savannah Guthrie, but says we are getting closer to that stage, and are almost or already there “in certain jurisdictions.” If Trump and the governors want to get this economy kick-started, they’ll have to do better than that on making those tests broadly and consistently available, because people won’t return in the numbers needed without them.