So I don't want to sweep Thomas Edsall under the rug, but I'm not sure you can make contemporaneous conclusions about the state of conspiracy thinking based on the sources Edsall cites. This is a Feb 3 editorial based on a Dec 30 survey published using data collected December 21-22. In a very real sense, it's attempting to gauge anti-Arab sentiment as of October 2001 based on survey data collected August 30th 2001.
Here's some of the other nuggets from that survey that are maybe more important right now:
More than eight in ten (83%) say they are concerned about the spread of false information, and a majority (54%) report being very concerned.
Eighty percent are specifically concerned about the spread of false information about the coronavirus and vaccines.
More than two-thirds are concerned both that the information they receive on social media is not accurate (69%), and also about foreign interference in social media (67%).
What this poll shows, far more than "QAnon has not loosened its grip", is that trust in institutions was at a shockingly low ebb. Is there a causal link between disbelief in authority and belief in QAnon? I'm no p-hacker but I'd be interested to know.
Here's another bit:
Three-quarters (74%) of Americans agree that masks are an effective tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Though majorities of both Democrats and Republicans agree with this statement, Democrats are significantly more likely to do so (90% agree vs. 61% of Republicans).
Nearly two-thirds (64%) feel there should be a law in their state requiring mask use in public, at all times. The partisan gap is even wider on a mask mandate, though: 85% of Democrats are in favor, compared to 45% of Republicans.
A majority (59%) disagree that COVID-19 is no more of a serious threat than the flu. Almost all demographic groups (gender, age, educational attainment, religion, etc.) disagree with this statement. Only Republicans and FOX News viewers are evenly split on whether or not COVID-19 is more serious than the flu.
So where the messaging isn't being fought tooth and claw, things are less dire. It's also not that tight a poll:
The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 5.6 percentage points for Republicans, plus or minus 4.9 percentage points for Democrats, and plus or minus 10.3 percentage points for Independents.
I waffle between optimism and pessimism but I don't feel that Mr. Edsall is painting a complete picture here. The situation is very much in flux.