Last updated on March 18, 2020.
To understand how Americans are coping with the spread of COVID-19, Evidation Health, the health and measurement company, has launched a nationwide initiative tracking people’s attitudes toward and experiences during the pandemic, alongside their health. Over 100,000 people from across all 50 states and the District of Columbia have agreed to participate, recruited in less than four days from the nearly 4 million people who use Evidation’s Achievement app—the largest, most diverse virtual research site in the U.S. This effort will track attitudes, behaviors, and health on a regular basis over the course of the coronavirus pandemic.
Key findings from the first survey, conducted from March 12 to March 15, 2020 are:
FEW THINK THE U.S. IS PREPARED.
Only 23 percent think the United States is prepared or very prepared to deal with coronavirus, and nearly half (49 percent) of all respondents believe the coronavirus represents a catastrophic or major threat to public health.
WASHING HANDS, NOT YET DISTANCING.
Nearly twice as many people have reported washing their hands more frequently over the past seven days as have reported avoiding large gatherings (64 percent to 34 percent)
One-quarter (25 percent) of respondents reported increased anxiety in the past seven days.
UNINSURED MORE WORRIED ABOUT PERSONAL FINANCES.
52 percent of those without health insurance are worried about not being able to work and earn a living because of the coronavirus disruptions as compared to only 36 percent of those with insurance.
UNINSURED LESS LIKELY TO SEEK CARE, MORE LIKELY TO GO TO THE ER.
Those without health insurance are two-and-half times less likely to seek care if they have symptoms of coronavirus. Those uninsured who would seek care are 7 percentage points more likely to go to the ER than insured (26 percent to 19 percent).
Overall, nearly 4 in 10 (37 percent) would seek care in the ER or an urgent care clinic if they believe they have symptoms of coronavirus.
INCREASING CONCERN ABOUT FOOD SHORTAGES.
Last week, respondents became increasingly worried about not having enough food with 23 percent on March 12 reporting they bought extra food and 43 percent reporting that three days later.
MORE WORRY ABOUT THE ECONOMY THAN LACK OF HOSPITAL BEDS.
More worry about the economy than lack of hospital beds. Despite warnings from public health experts that there will not be enough hospital beds in the US, only 17 percent worry that hospital beds will run out as compared to 42 percent who said they worried about a financial market crash.
STATES VARY WIDELY IN THEIR RESPONSIVENESS TO THE CRISIS.
D.C. with the 3rd highest known case counts per 100,000 residents (as of March 18) has reacted strongly to the crisis, whereas states like Louisiana perceive the country is prepared (3rd highest percentage of residents believing the U.S. is prepared or very prepared, of all states and D.C.) and did not react as strongly by this past weekend (3/15).
For this initiative, Evidation launched a new program in Achievement for individuals to share what they thought about the coronavirus pandemic, including their perceptions, knowledge, and changes in behavior, in addition to their individually-permissioned activity data. In this initial release of 100,258 adults, 89 percent—or 2,973—of all U.S. counties are represented. Results are not weighted.
Do you work in public health or media, or in another business that would like to partner with Evidation? Please reach out to us at press [at] evidation.com.