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  • Second edition of StudyFinds survey shows Baby Boomers have grown significantly more anxious about outbreak compared to a week ago.
  • More Americans are starting to believe that society won’t return to normal until the end of 2020 or even beyond.
  • The number of people “very concerned” about contracting coronavirus jumped more than 50% from last week.

BALTIMORE — The number of Americans who believe they currently have the coronavirus or will be diagnosed with it at some point has risen significantly over the span of a week, according to the results of a follow-up survey by StudyFinds. Moreover, adults over the age of 60 are especially showing a dramatic rise in their level of concern and fear compared to a week ago.

Fear of CoronavirusThe new survey of 322 Americans over 18 shows that almost one in five people (19%) think they’ve contracted COVID-19, up from 13% in the previous survey. Respondents in Generation Z — those ages 18 to 29 — are most convinced they’d test positive right now, with 30% of the youngest segment believing they have the virus (up from 20% last week). Baby boomers are also on a notable rise rise. While only 3% of participants over age 60 thought they had coronavirus last week, that number has jumped to 11% of the oldest age group.

One new question was added to the latest survey: Do you think you’ve been exposed to someone with coronavirus?

Coronavirus exposureEven though the number of cases around the U.S. continue to grow, the vast majority (79%) of people don’t believe they have been exposed to the virus. Only significant portions of younger participants seem to think they’ve faced exposure: a third of people ages 18-29 and a quarter of those 30-44 feel this way. Just 2% of people over 60 fear they’ve been exposed.

Meanwhile, nearly a third (31%) of respondents feel “very concerned” that they’ll catch the coronavirus at some point down the road. A week ago only 20% of participants felt that way. Despite very few older adults believing they’ve been exposed to the virus, this segment’s feelings have changed the most among the sample. In last week’s survey, about 20% of respondents in both the 45-60 age group and 60+ segment were very concerned about contracting the virus. Now, those figures are up to 37% for middle-aged individuals and 38% for those over 60.

Coronavirus concernInterestingly, the number of people overall who aren’t concerned about the outbreak remained nearly the same: 10.9% last week versus 10.6 percent now.

Other significant findings: Last week, there were no adults over 60 who claimed they were “very afraid” to leave their homes during the outbreak. Now, 15.6% of baby boomers have no interest in going out. Similarly, last week 43% of the older crowd wasn’t afraid at all to leave the house — but that number has now dropped to just 31%. Of course, many of the stay-at-home mandates weren’t in place yet when last week’s survey was issued, which could certainly be a big factor in one’s answer.

Coronavirus Society Back to NormalThe increasingly grim outlook by the boomers doesn’t stop there either. Last week, 86% of this age group expected society would return to normal within the next six months, and only 9% felt the current state of affairs would last to the end of the year or beyond. Now, the tables are turning: 49% predict the former, while a staggering 44% feel the latter.

Overall, three in ten (29%) Americans think life won’t pick up where it left off until sometime towards the end of 2020 or beyond, up from 18% last week.

Finally, feelings about the government’s handling of the crisis seem to be growing more positive. Last week 38% of respondents were “not at all” satisfied with the federal response, but only 30% feel that way now. That 8% difference seemed to move to the “a little satisfied” opinion, with 27% selecting this response compared to 19% in the first survey. Seventeen percent are “very satisfied,” up from 13% last week.

The StudyFinds coronavirus survey was conducted by SurveyMonkey. Below is a look at responses to each question for every age group, along with the change from last week.

Week 2 Comparisons

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StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

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