COVID-19 and Public Perception

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we live. It will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, impacting every part of our lives from the way we work to our recreation and pastimes.

While today’s simple day-to-day life seems fraught with concern, GLG sought to capture a quantifiable snapshot of public perception of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey, “COVID-19 Patient Impact,” found that attitudes, beliefs, concerns, and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic are significantly influenced by one’s existing medical conditions.

Survey Population

To capture an accurate representation of the general population, GLG surveyed 500 men and women (44% and 56%, respectively), across a range of ages and geographies.

COVID-19 and Health Concerns

About half of Americans feel good about their health, with 54% rating as “excellent” or “very good.” Still, 51% of our survey respondents cited at least one chronic condition. For these Americans, the stakes are higher, their concerns are greater, and their reactions more extreme. A large number (62%) said they are “extremely” or “very” concerned they will contract COVID-19 compared to those who do not have any chronic illnesses (51%).

Meanwhile, only 19% think it’s “extremely” or “very” likely it will happen to them. Those who have chronic conditions say they feel more likely (23%) to contract the disease than the average person.

COVID-19 and the Health of the Economy

The survey found that 73% of respondents were “extremely” or “very” concerned about the health of the U.S. economy. While 59% expressed concerns about their personal financial situation, this outweighs concerns about physical and mental health, which come in at 45% and 40%, respectively.

As might be expected, those with chronic conditions feel strain more than others. Those with chronic conditions more often say their personal economic situation (39% vs. 30%), their physical health (28% vs. 17%), and their mental health (23% vs. 14%) are “extremely” concerning compared to those without chronic conditions.

Confidence and COVID-19

While COVID-19 has shaken confidence in many sectors of our civic and personal lives, the economy has taken the worst hit, with 59% of survey respondents citing it a prime source of uncertainty. Following that, nearly half (49%) said it had undermined their confidence in the U.S. president’s ability to deal with the situation.

Overall, confidence in the economy and federal leadership is waning, and Americans are looking to healthcare experts and providers to guide them and keep them safe. Fully 63% of the population we surveyed said they had confidence in healthcare professionals to take measures to control the COVID-19 outbreak, as opposed to only 30% who expressed faith in the federal government.

Conclusion

COVID-19 will have ramifications we cannot yet assess. But if we are to move forward, it’s important to understand how the population regards its current state. Getting an understanding of American sentiment allows us to think more carefully about next steps. How can we be sensitive to vulnerable populations? What do we need to do to restore confidence in weakened institutions? These are questions we must address. While there is no clear path for resolution on the horizon, the more we understand, the better we can chart a smarter course.

Click here to access the full results of the COVID-19 Patient Impact survey.

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