Monday, March 23, 2020

Growing Coronavirus Alarm Noted in Surveys

Rising concerns about coronavirus are being captured by survey researchers while they are in the field. According to Pew Research Center survey fielded from March 10 to March 16, the percentage of Americans who believe coronavirus is major threat to the health of the U.S. population climbed from 42 percent in the first two days of the survey period (March 10-11) to 55 percent in the final three days (March 14-16). The percentage who believe coronavirus is a major threat to their personal financial situation grew from 29 to 40 percent during the time span.

Gallup, too, is noting the rising alarm. When Gallup asked respondents whether they are avoiding going to public places such as stores or restaurants, only 30 percent of those queried on March 13-15 said yes. The figure jumped to 54 percent among those asked the same question on March 16-19.

"In the span of a week," Gallup reports, "Americans have gone from tepid adoption of social distancing to majorities engaging in nearly every major practice advocated by government and health officials."

Percent of adults taking each action to stem the spread of coronavirus, March 16-19 (and percentage point increase since March 13-15
79% are avoiding going to events with large crowds (+20)
75% are avoiding travel by airplane, bus, subway, or train (+20)
57% are cancelling or postponing travel plans (+18)
52% are stocking up on food, medical, and cleaning supplies (+13)
54% are avoiding going to public places (+24)
46% are voiding small gatherings such as with family or friends (+23)

Despite the growing seriousness of the pandemic in the minds of Americans, Gallup reports "there is a long way to go to approach full compliance." While 53 percent of respondents say they have mostly or completely isolated themselves from people outside their household, 21 percent say they are only partially isolated, and 27 percent say they have done little or nothing to avoid contact with people outside their household.

Source: Gallup, Americans Rapidly Answering the Call to Isolate, Prepare

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