Surveys Reveal Top Coronavirus Worries

Anxiety over financial portfolios now top health worries. But concerns about health impact are growing.

There is little question the coronavirus pandemic is top-of-mind for most of us. Currently, however, surveys show that financial concerns top worries about health threats.

While seven in ten of Americans say the COVID-19 outbreak is a major threat to the nation’s economy, just under half (47%) say it is a major threat to the overall health of the U.S. population.(1) Looking at their own personal situation, over a third (34%) say the disease is a major threat to their own finances, while about a quarter (27%) say it is a major threat to their personal health, according to the survey by Pew Research.

Nonetheless, health worries are increasing. A Gallup poll (2) found 36% were very or somewhat worried that they or someone in their family "will be exposed to coronavirus." In its March 2-13 update, that level of worry had risen to 60%.

Impact on our lives is accelerating as well. In Gallup's March 13-16 survey, almost six in 10 Americans interviewed by Gallup said they were avoiding crowds. 55% were avoiding travel by airplane, bus, subway or train.

Half of U.S. workers say the virus is negatively impacting their workplace. According to Pew Research Americans say that if they could not work for two weeks, they would likely not get paid and it would be difficult for them to keep up with their basic expenses.

When will the crisis end? Americans are divided, but most see significant challenges ahead but improvement within the year. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that six in 10 voters said the "worst is yet to come." But a Gallup study found that 38% believe the situation will begin to improve in a few more weeks, and half say it will improve in a few more months before improvement is seen.

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(1) Pew Research Center, survey conducted March 10-16 

(2) Gallup, survey conducted Feb. 3-16

This publication is designed to provide general information and is for discussion purposes only. The effectiveness of any strategy is dependent upon each individual’s facts and circumstances. This article does not provide legal, tax or account advice. Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error, the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information is not guaranteed.