Research reveals what America thinks about COVID-19

Research reveals what America thinks about COVID-19

As America continues its battle with the coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s virtually impossible to ignore the daily impact the pandemic is having on the lives of millions of people. Many of us are facing challenges brought on by the plethora of changes caused by the newly emerging illness. It’s bound to color our perception of today’s current events.

We looked at recent nationwide surveys conducted by NRC Health and McKinsey & Company to see what the average American thinks about this health crisis.

Here’s what we learned:

You’re aware there’s an issue but not sure of the facts. Although you want to be well informed, you’re also concerned the media may be creating unneeded panic.

  • 9 out of 10 people are highly aware of COVID-19
  • 67 percent don’t understand the signs and symptoms of the disease
  • 49 percent feel the news coverage is excessive and creating unnecessary panic

The majority of you are worried that nearly everyone will be impacted by the disease.

  • 62 percent are very concerned about COVID-19 and believe nearly everyone will be affected
  • One in 10 women think they will contract the virus
  • Twice as many men (1 in 5) think they will become ill

While you may enjoy social media, you don’t necessarily trust it to give you reliable health information.

You trust the leaders in health care, both nationally and in your community, to relay accurate, helpful information. And while you may enjoy social media, you don’t necessarily trust it to give you reliable health information.

  • 56 percent look to national leaders in health care, like Mayo Clinic or Johns Hopkins, as a reliable source of information
  • 43 percent get their information from their local hospital or health system
  • 27 percent get their news fix from national sources while 25 percent rely on local news
  • 19 percent count on the federal government to relay virus-related info
  • 9 percent get their facts from social media

As many of you shelter in place and bump up your hand washing hygiene, COVID-19 is having a definite impact on your behavior—especially those targeted at preventing infection.

  • 75 percent are washing their hands regularly
  • 64 percent are limiting leaving home
  • 57 percent cover their coughs and sneezes
  • 46 percent are cleaning surfaces daily
  • 43 percent are staying home when sick
  • 21 percent are working from home

Your physical, emotional, social and economic health are all feeling the strain of the disease’s spread into your daily routine.

As you attempt to minimize the spread of COVID-19, it touches nearly every aspect of your lives. Your physical, emotional, social and economic health are all feeling the strain of the disease’s spread into your daily routine.

  • 40 percent of employed Americans say they cannot pay their bills for more than 30 days if they lose their job
  • 64 percent feel anxious or depressed about the current situation
  • 14 percent do not feel comfortable staying home for 14 days due to several concerns: 1 in 2 are concerned they’ll run out of food or supplies; 1 in 3 are worried about loneliness; 1 in 5 reported they do not feel safe at home

Most people think it will be several months before we have access to successful treatment but they’re more confident than ever that our country’s health professionals are up to the task.

  • 67 percent think it will take at least three months to develop a successful treatment regimen, if one is developed at all
  • 73 percent are looking to the health care system to manage the crisis
  • 42 percent think the current health care system is equipped to handle the outbreak
  • 31 percent are more positive now (than before the pandemic began) about health care organizations in general because of their widespread commitment to public health and safety

We are in this together

It is easy to feel isolated when you’re keeping your distance from most everyone you know and trying not to obsess over the latest news update. These numbers represent people across the nation who share your challenges and concerns. They illustrate that even in the midst of a global health crisis, you are not alone.

Get relevant, up-to-date information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) from Providence.

Learn more from the CDC.


Find a doctor

If you feel unwell and would like to consult your doctor, consider using telemedicine options. Providence Express Care Virtual connects you face-to-face with a nurse practitioner who can review your symptoms, provide instruction and follow-up as needed. If you need to find a doctor, you can use our provider directory or search for one in your area.






You can also learn how your state’s department of public health is responding to the situation:




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Related resources

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This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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