Oldest, Youngest are Least Worried About Virus

Knowing your audience is a building block of PR. Survey data can help gauge attitudes, inform messages and spotlight potential leads. During the pandemic PRNEWS is looking at data points from surveys and elsewhere to see how the American public and businesses are reacting to the current climate.

Not a Surprise: Most are Worried

A new APCO survey of 1,000 American adults, conducted March 13, showed no change from the previous APCO poll (March 5) in that 90 percent view COVID-19 as “a serious condition.” A total of 83 percent say their household is ready for the virus.

An amazing finding considering the medical evidence: the oldest and youngest Americans are least worried about contracting coronavirus.

Just 29 percent of those younger than 25 say they are “extremely” or “very” worried; only 24 percent of those 65 years old and older feel this way.  Slightly more than half (56 percent) of millennials (those aged 25–44) are worried about contracting the virus.

Despite numerous media stories expounding on how the US public health system is ill prepared for the virus, APCO found three-quarters or more believe the health system is prepared. Local hospitals (79 percent) and primary healthcare providers (77 percent) were seen as being slightly more prepared than larger hospitals (76 percent).

Companies Not Ready, But My Company Is

While most respondents (58 percent) believe employers generally are poorly prepared for the virus, 74 percent feel their company is ready.

Specifically, workers feel their employers are prepared to: share information with all employees (79 percent); implement leave or sick pay policies (72 percent); deploy technology solutions (71 percent) and; implement voluntary policies (66 percent) to enable flexible or remote work.

89 percent of those surveyed trust local news and state governors (also 89 percent). National news trust was a healthy 85 percent. President Trump was the least trusted source of information, though he's trusted by a two-thirds majority (65 percent).

Get Your Oat Milk?

Not surprisingly, purchases of items such as disinfecting wipes (353 percent) and ibuprofen (236 percent) rose dramatically during the first week of March, Nielsen found. In general, consumer packaged goods surged, of course. Unusually, though, more consumers are grabbing up oat milk. Nielsen said oat milk sales rose 305 percent in the week ending February 22. Sales of water were up 5 percent.

Working Harder...

The new army of stay-at-home workers is discovering what veteran home-workers already knew: hours expand when you work from home. (You have to wonder if offices will be as popular post-COVID-19.)

Working hours for American employers since March 11, 2020, have risen an average of 3 hours daily, from 8 to 11 hours, according to data from NordVPN.

Atlas VPN says use of its service in the U.S. has jumped 124 percent in the past two weeks. In the past week, usage rose 71 percent.

App makers are happy. NordVPN says remote working has propelled a rise in desktop app usage among Americans (94 percent). Globally, NordVPN has seen a 165 percent spike in the use of business VPNs (virtual private networks). NordVPN sales have risen some 600 percent.

And Flirting Longer in Affected Areas

Work hard and play hard. The dating app Bumble says it's seeing large increases in video chats and voice calls. Bumble reportedly is seeing a 21 percent increase in its voice chat and video call usage, per TMZ. People are remaining on the phone 15 minutes on average, Bumble adds.

Areas seeing large increases in Bumble activity include some of the worst virus clusters: NYC (23 percent increase), San Francisco (+ 26 percent) and Seattle, which is up 21 percent. Overall, Bumble messages are up 21 percent. Fortunately, the dating app is counseling users not to visit their prospective partners.

This article is part of PRNEWS' daily COVID-19 coverage, click here to see the latest updates.