Shapiro+Raj Study Shows American Resilience in the Face of the Coronavirus

Monday, March 16, 2020 Research News
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CHICAGO, March 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In less than three months, COVID-19 (also known as the Coronavirus) has been spreading around the world.  It has arrived on US shores and has become the overriding issue for all and sundry.  The government has been taking actions – from the announcement of an emergency bill, schools and colleges moving to e-learning, cancellation of public events and closures of restaurants and bars (in Ohio and Illinois) – the country is moving aggressively toward flattening the curve.  Shapiro+Raj executed an online survey among a nationally representative sample of 577 Americans to see how the American public feels about the coronavirus and their actions so far.

Social distancing actions seem to be taking hold.  Forty-eight percent are staying home more and are avoiding crowded places while an additional 12% are just working from home currently.  Over 22% have changed their travel plans since becoming aware of the outbreak.

People are changing their lifestyle and behaviors.  There is a higher focus on hygiene with 71% of Americans washing their hands longer and doing so more often, as well as increasing their use of hand sanitizers.  About 12% have purchased and use a face mask.  Almost a third of the country is stocking up on food and household supplies.

We also looked to understand their key concerns.  Although 64% of Americans do not feel threatened by the virus, the remaining third feel that they and a loved one could be endangered.  Even though less than 4% of them know someone diagnosed with the virus.

As expected, news media is the primary source (76%) of their information with social media the resource for 42%.  Friends and relatives are a very important source at 29% which is about the same as health information websites (like Mayo Clinic, WebMD, etc.)  and almost 10-points more than healthcare providers (like Doctors and Nurses) at 18%.  Despite news media being their lead source, almost 20% think media's coverage is poor and sensational.

But Americans are resilient.  Over half (54%) of them believe we will have this virus under control in less than three months with a third (18%) thinking that we will be back to normal in a month.

This is the attitude that makes America strong.  The resilience and ability to face any issue with focus and clarity.  As one respondent said, "We've been through worse.  This is one small blip that'll pass, and soon."

About Shapiro+Raj

Shapiro+Raj is a research and strategy firm that uses social and behavioral sciences to solve the toughest business and marketing challenges. Our next-gen methods dig deep to unlock market-ready insights. Then our brand planners turn these into strategic marketplace actions that create brand evolution and innovation; customer experiences and loyalty; and new platforms for growth.

We have added future-first strategy and expansive analytic capabilities, powered by the latest technology stack and inspired by human behavior. This has created an integrated research, insights, and strategy consultancy with a mission to help our clients find new pathways to grow in this constantly changing landscape. Today we are recognized as one of the Top-25 Most Innovative Research Companies in the world.  For more information, visit

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