With the ongoing and ever-growing news about the Coronavirus outbreak, the effects are catastrophic and may continue to be that way for quite a while. From the slowdown of the economy, to the security of our jobs, travel restrictions, and the overall health of ourselves and of others, fears and worry grew among people in many areas – not just in one focus in particular. The results below show the changes in survey responses within a week of Covid-19 being classified as a pandemic.

After public health emergencies started being declared in the US

Prior to the beginnings of US States declaring public health emergencies, respondents felt generally neutral about both the global and the national economy, with pessimism and optimism equally represented on both sides. There was less polarization towards the global economy with 41% of respondents feeling ‘neutral’ towards it compared to only 35% of respondents feeling ‘neutral’ towards the national economy. Of those who were concerned about the future early on, 51% were highly worried about the global economy while 48% were highly worried about the national economy. 

While 48% were highly worried about the health and wellness of others (family and friends), nearly 10% less (39%) said that they were worried about their own health.

In fact, while 42% of respondents younger than 45 years of age said they were worried about their own health; only 32% of respondents 45 or older said the same.

Additionally, over the 3-week span when the Coronavirus began making major headlines, for respondents, the health of family and friends was more of an increasing worry than among any other issue.

While personal health was a relatively low concern among respondents, nearly half (46%) were highly worried about the supply chain of drugs and medication that comes from infected countries like China.

In response to the outbreak, nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) said that they were checking the news at least once a day regarding the Coronavirus outbreak, including almost three-quarters (73%) of all respondents 45 or older.

How respondents are staying informed varies. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of the respondents say they get their news from television, followed by 50% saying they get their news from social media, and 43% saying they’ve gotten their news from online articles.

76% of all respondents 45 or older use television to stay informed about the outbreak, 20% more than respondents younger than 45 did. On the flip side, respondents younger than 45 were 22% more likely to use social media, 15% more likely to use health websites, 12% more likely to use online journals, and 10% were more likely to get their information from their peers, both in and outside of work.

Only about a quarter of respondents said they’ve used health websites to get their information about Coronavirus (26%). This is slightly concerning given that 9 out of 10 respondents (90%) mentioned that they have “at least some worry” about being misinformed about the Coronavirus outbreak. 

66% of those under 45 are highly worried about misinformation, and yet 57% also say they use Social Media to get news and updates about Coronavirus.

After it was ruled ‘pandemic’

Since last week, worry has increased across a number of issues, which includes the health of family and friends (an increase from 48% last week to 58% this week) as well as both the national and global economy (each increasing by 13% since last week).

Among all of the age groups, respondents aged 30-44 are the most worried about both the global and national economy, with 68% each saying they’re highly worried about both.

Oddly, worry about personal health only increased by 2% (39% last week to 41% this week), and worry about the supply chain of drugs and other medication coming from infected areas like China did not change at all (stayed at 46%).

As a result of the state of emergency declaration, people are also paying more attention to the news now. 75% say that they’re watching the news on a daily basis to hear more updates on the Coronavirus (a 12% increase from last week). This includes 87% of all respondents aged 45 or older.

Television is still the most popular medium to stay engaged on COVID-19 news with 66% saying that they use television as a news source, followed by 56% saying they use social media, and 51% saying they use online articles.

The engagement has increased across all the different news sources including:

  • 7% more respondents using online articles
  • 6% more reading more from health websites
  • 6% more getting their news from social media
  • 5% reading more from online journals

Significant differences between these two age groups include how they get their news about Covid-19. Respondents 45 or older are 21% more likely to watch television to stay informed about the outbreak than respondents younger than 45 are. However, respondents younger than 45 are more likely to use any and all other news sources besides television, including:

  • 22% more likely to use social media
  • 13% more likely to use health websites
  • 9% more likely to use online articles

Worries about being misinformed increased slightly from 62% to 65%. While 55% of respondents 45 or older are worried about being misinformed by their news sources, worry about misinformation is much higher for respondents under 45 years old at 69%.