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The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, a pandemic on March 11, 2020. As of this writing, there are 2,064,815 confirmed cases and 137,078 deaths registered worldwide. The governments of different countries are taking various actions to prevent the spread of the virus and reduce mortality.
The overall situation is stressful, especially for the general public, not only because they are trying to protect themselves and their family but also because of the horrifying news flooding their social media timelines and TV screens.
In these situations, it is crucial to evaluate how the general public is getting their knowledge about the pandemic, how they are processing it, and what steps they are taking to protect themselves.
The survey aimed to evaluate how well the general public is coping with the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdown situation.
Inquiries were made about their stress level, their methods to reduce stress, the source they are using for getting COVID-19 related information, and the precautions they are taking to avoid contracting the virus, among other pertinent concerns.
- This COVID-19 survey was conducted on 5000 residents of the United States, exploring aspects relevant to stress, general views on the level of threat, measures they are taking to de-stress, personal hygiene, and individual precautionary practices.
- Members of the general public above 18 years of age were allowed to take part in this survey.
- The data were collected via Pollfish, a survey platform that merges methodology and technology for conducting market research and collecting the most accurate insights.
- The survey also included responses from eMediHealth’s regular website users.
- The answers were collected between the 6th of April and the 14th of April.
- The survey was responded by 44% males and 56% females.
- The respondents were from all the states, with California and Ohio registering the highest participation.
- Most of the respondents were university and high-school graduates.
- The survey included both multiple-choice and single-choice questions, and the percentages were evaluated accordingly.
- To remain abreast with the COVID-19 situation, 71% of the respondents turn to news outlets, whereas 50% prefer social media, 43% majorly rely on the data issued by credible health organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 37% depend on the word of health professionals, and 30% trust their friends and family to keep them updated.
- In terms of precautionary measures, 85% of the respondents give precedence to frequent handwashing with soap, and 76% supported the use of hand sanitizers. 82% are committed to the idea of social distancing, and 79% are more concerned about stocking up on essential supplies and medication.
- 40% of the respondents believe that home remedies can help against the novel coronavirus, and 60% felt they were largely ineffective.
- 80% of the respondents believe that the novel coronavirus is more deadly than the flu, whereas 20% believe otherwise.
- 26% of the respondents think that antibiotics can kill the novel coronavirus.
- 73% of the respondents express that they are stressed about the coronavirus outbreak, whereas 27% are taking it easy.
- 62% of the respondents are relying on Netflix and movie streaming services to cope with the stress, and 48% are engaging in physical activities such as exercising, gardening, and playing family games.
- 35% of the respondents believe that they could contract the novel coronavirus from their pets’ skin and fur, whereas 65% strongly believe against it.
- 61% of the respondents stress that the novel coronavirus outbreak could continue for another 6 months or up to a year, whereas 38% expect it to last less than that.
- 34% of the respondents feel like they run the risk of losing their job during this health crisis.
The novel coronavirus has taken over the consciousness of most people almost entirely, with newsfeeds, social media timelines, and private conversations revolving around this singular topic.
With the constant barrage of information from multiple quarters, it can be difficult to tell facts from hearsay, myth, or misinformation. And in an age of ubiquitous social media, any false rumor or news can spread like wildfire in a matter of seconds.
Unverified information can mislead scores of people in the wrong direction, which can have adverse and even catastrophic repercussions and can result in gross mismanagement of the pandemic.
When asked about their most trusted source for COVID-19 related information, nearly 71% of the respondents chose news outlets.
About 50% of the respondents said they remain updated about the pandemic through social media, whereas 43% mostly relied on advisories released by health organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Some of the respondents got their updates about the pandemic from health professionals (37%) and friends (30%).
The novel coronavirus is much more contagious than influenza viruses, hence the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases all around the world.
The magnitude of this pandemic has overwhelmed the healthcare services of even the most developed nations, and the situation will only deteriorate if not met with urgent control measures.
In the absence of a vaccine, the only way to proactively contain the spread of the virus is through proper precautionary measures to reduce the risk of contamination.
Frequently washing hands with soap, using hand sanitizers, and social distancing were cited as the most commonly adhered guidelines for COVID-19 prevention, with 85%, 76%, and 82% of the respondents picking these options, respectively.
Next on the priority list was wearing protective masks (58%) to avoid spreading or inhaling infected droplets, followed by stocking up on essentials (50%) and medicines (29%) to last the quarantine period.
Currently, there is no specific proven treatment for COVID-19 except proper homecare to alleviate the symptoms. Your body will fight the virus on its own, and the infection will generally resolve after running its full course.
However, you may need hospitalization if you experience breathing difficulties, or you have preconditions. Otherwise, there are hardly any medical interventions that can eliminate the virus from your system.
The lack of specific treatment for COVID-19 has prompted a lot of people to try various alternative therapies and remedies, without any credible proof about their efficacy. The majority of the respondents, however, were not convinced about the benefits of anecdotal home remedies for fighting this novel virus.
Nearly 60% answered in the negative when asked if home remedies can help against the novel coronavirus, but a sizable number (40%) were in favor of using these complementary measures to prevent and treat the infection.
While it is true that COVID-19 and the flu are both viral infections that primarily affect the respiratory system, the former is relatively more contagious and dangerous than the latter.
However, some people make the mistake of undermining the actual severity of COVID-19 by brushing it off as just another variant of the regular flu.
Fortunately, most of the respondents were familiar with the gravity and seriousness of the current pandemic. A whopping 80% considered COVID-19 to be a greater threat to their lives than the flu, and the remaining 20% felt the flu was more dangerous.
Antibiotics are a class of medicine used for killing bacteria but are ineffective against all other strains of pathogens, including the novel coronavirus.
However, these drugs are not completely useless for the treatment of COVID-19 as they can help prevent or treat overlapping bacterial infections and reduce the severity of the symptoms.
Various clinical trials are currently underway to evaluate the efficacy of antibiotics and antiviral medicines, but it is too early to say whether or not these drugs are useful to provide temporary symptomatic relief or reduce the severity of illness.
Always consult your primary health care provider if you have any symptoms related to COVID-19 instead of self-medicating.
About 74% of the respondents knew better than to rely on antibiotics for killing the novel coronavirus, whereas the remaining 26% overestimated the scope of antibiotics thinking these drugs can eliminate the infection.
COVID-19 has emerged as a global pandemic of massive proportions. In fact, some tout it as an unprecedented health crisis with potentially more grievous consequences than the bubonic plague or the Spanish flu.
There is so much uncertainty around this newly discovered virus wreaking havoc on the world that one cannot help but feel stressed and anxious about it.
The lack of understanding and preparedness for this pandemic plus the fast-spreading nature of the virus has contributed to the exponential surge in COVID-19 cases around the globe.
People quarantined inside their homes are constantly flooded with alarming information regarding COVID-19 through every communication channel, which can be quite overwhelming. Everyone is either reading about it or talking about it – such is its toll on people’s daily lives.
Thus, the novel coronavirus is not just an imminent threat to the physical well-being, but it has adversely affected the mental and emotional health of people as well. Some people are more adept at handling stress than others, but that does not reduce the psychological blowback of this outbreak.
Nearly 39% of the respondents said that they felt extremely tense in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, whereas 34% reported normal stress levels. Almost a quarter of the respondents said they did not take a lot of stress, whereas the remaining 3% claimed that they were not disturbed by it at all.
Being holed up at home for weeks on end can drive anyone up the wall, especially when no end to this quarantine is in-sight. Moreover, it is hard not to get affected by the constant barrage of harrowing news filtering in through every medium, be it your TV sets or mobile screens.
Friends and family are your lifeboats during these testing times, but even the conversations with your loved ones are incomplete without the mention of the coronavirus.
From prime-time news and print headlines to celebrity and social media trends, this disease has possessed the consciousness of the entire world. This single-minded focus on a depressing topic can dull your spirits.
Also, living in constant fear and anxiety of an invisible but enormous threat can further drain the energy out of you. Thus, you have to make a concerted effort to block out the distressing noises and engage in recreational and educational things that keep you happy and entertained.
In fact, you can utilize this period to learn new skills, try innovative activities, and pursue the hobbies that you never had the time for before. The classic hobby of television surfing was the favorite pastime of most of the respondents (70%), closely followed by watching Netflix or other movie streaming/OTT apps (62%).
Up to 48% of the respondents said they are using this time to get fitter by exercising, which helps them relieve stress as well, whereas 41% preferred to read books to take their minds off the current crisis.
40% of participants considered social media to be a stress buster, and an almost equal percentage derived pleasure in playing family games. Some respondents resorted to meditation (27%), gardening (26%), and painting (16%) to relieve stress and calm their minds.
The origins of the novel coronavirus go back to an infected bat before being passed on to pangolins and finally to humans.
With recent reports about more and more animals testing positive for COVID-19, there is growing concern among pet owners about contracting the virus from their canine or feline companions who might be infected.
Since the pandemic started with an animal to human transmission, one cannot dismiss these apprehensions as an overreaction. But the fact remains that there is still much to be explored about the role of pets and companion animals in the epidemiology of COVID-19.
The currently available evidence does not provide any clarity on the matter, but you must always err on the side of caution and wash your hands with soap and water after handling your pets, companion animals, or livestock.
It is known that the novel coronavirus can survive on the skin or fur of animals, but there is very little evidence to suggest that it can be transferred to humans via physical contact. The current pandemic is an evolving situation, and so it is better to exercise extra precautions now to prevent any unfavorable circumstances later.
The survey participants were asked if they think they can contract the novel coronavirus from their pets skin and fur, to which a majority of them responded in the negative while 35% felt that it is a possibility.
COVID-19 is a truly global pandemic that has hit every corner of the world. Some countries are faring better than others in the fight against COVID-19, but no place lies outside the fold of this rapidly escalating health crisis.
The trajectory of this disease has been more or less the same in most places, with the number of new cases and fatalities increasing exponentially in a matter of days before declining.
When visualized on a chart, the spread of the novel coronavirus follows a curve-like pattern. Health experts have come up with disease-control strategies that are designed to flatten this curve to avoid any drastic buildup of casualties that can overburden the health infrastructure.
So far, these efforts to contain the spread of the disease have yielded successful results in some countries, whereas others are failing to cope with the overwhelming influx of cases.
Given all these considerations, it is safe to say that the struggle against COVID-19 is only in its initial stage and will continue indefinitely. One can only estimate the damage this pandemic will unleash on the world in the meantime.
Nearly half of the respondents estimated that COVID-19 would have catastrophic consequences for the world, whereas most of the remaining half also viewed it as a major threat but just not as extreme. A paltry 3% thought of it as a minor threat, whereas 2% thought it is not a threat at all.
Social distancing is the fundamental strategy to curb the explosion of cases, but it is only a delaying tactic rather than a cure. In China, for instance, the disease made a comeback after the successful treatment of the first wave of patients.
The threat of infection will, therefore, remain prevalent until a vaccine is discovered. Some experts even suggest that this could become a recurrent ordeal like seasonal flu.
When asked how long this pandemic will last, the respondents gave a split verdict. Around 38% of the respondents estimated the current crisis to persist for a few more months, and an equal number felt it would continue longer and stretch out for more than the next 6 months.
About 11% were even less optimistic about the situation resolving anytime soon and gave it another year before things returned to normal. Only 4% thought it would extend for more than 2 years, while the remaining 9% failed to venture a guess.
COVID-19 has brought the world to a sudden halt and disrupted every aspect of social life. The lack of preparedness to counter this crisis has contributed to major economic setbacks as well.
As a result, several companies introduced massive pay cuts or laid-off employees to compensate for the reduced wealth creation. With social distancing orders in place, a lot of companies have resorted to working from home but the air of uncertainty looms large.
Job security has gone for a toss given the suffering economy. When asked about this issue, 35% of the respondents were confident that they will not lose their job during this crisis, but 34% expressed concern about being laid-off.
A slightly lower percentage (31%) of the respondents said that this prospect does not apply to them.