Healthier Colorado Coronavirus Survey of Colorado Residents

Survey Overview:

This is a summary of a telephone and online survey of 1,000 adult residents in Colorado. The interviews were conducted from April 15th to April 21st, 2020. The margin of error for this survey is 3.10% at the 95% confidence interval. This project also included a 140n oversample of African Americans. The survey response data was weighted to reflect the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 estimated demographics of the adult population in Colorado. This survey was commissioned by Healthier Colorado and the Colorado Health Foundation.

Survey Objectives:

The primary objective of this research project was to measure and understand the concerns, needs, experiences and viewpoints of Coloradans regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Another objective is to provide federal, state and local decision makers, the healthcare community, the media and general public with information so that they have a better understanding of how the coronavirus outbreak is impacting people’s lives.

Key Findings:

  • Among all respondents, 51% said their lives have been disrupted a lot by the coronavirus outbreak, 35% said their lives have been disrupted some, 11% said not too much and only 3% said their lives have not been impacted at all. Population subgroups that have had their lives disrupted the most include households with a child aged 18 or younger (58% a lot), people who rent their home (61% a lot) and people who have lost their job, lost income or had their paid hours reduced (63% a lot).
  • Forty-three percent of Coloradans feel the worst of the coronavirus is yet to come, 35% think the worst is behind us, and 21% did not have an opinion on the question. Families and individuals with lower incomes, and households that have experienced job or income losses are more likely to feel the worst is yet to come. Among African Americans respondents, 55% feel the worst is yet to come. The data also found that women in general were more likely to feel the worst is yet to come.
  • Respondents were asked to describe their worries regarding the coronavirus outbreak. Reading through the responses, the emotions and fear for themselves and their family members not making through this difficult time become very clear. The two most common themes are concerns about their health and their economic situation in the future.
  • Forty-three percent of respondents said the coronavirus has made their financial situation worse while 50% said their financial situation is the same as it was before. Population subgroups that have a worse financial situation include households with incomes of $30,000 or below (53% financial situation worse than before), younger individuals aged 18 to 29 (52% worse), people that do not have health insurance (62% worse), and individuals on Medicaid (66% worse).
  • Forty-seven percent of Coloradans say they or someone in their household has lost their job (16%), lost income (18%), or had their paid hours reduced (13%) as a result of the coronavirus. Population subgroups that are experiencing the brunt of job and income losses include younger people aged 18-29 (64% lost job/income), people who rent their home (57%), individuals who work outside the home (57%), folks on Medicaid (61%), households with $30K annual income or less (53%) and households with an individual 18 years or younger (54%).
  • A majority of Coloradans, 57%, said they were either very concerned (27%) or somewhat concerned (30%) that they or someone in their household would lose their job, income or paid hours in the next six months.
  • The survey attempted to build a demographic picture of the Coloradans who are working, whether they are currently working at home or working outside the home. Among respondents who are still working since the outbreak started, 51% said they are working from home and 36% said they are working outside the home.
  • The survey asked Coloradans what they thought their financial situation would be one year from now. Among all respondents, 35% thought their financial situation would be better, 43% thought it would be about the same and 17% thought it would be worse than it is currently. Among African American respondents, 26% thought it would be worse one year from now.
  • Sixty-four percent of respondents said they preferred a policy aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus until more widespread testing becomes available, even if that meant many businesses will have to stay closed. The survey also found that 64% of Coloradans who have lost their job, lost income or lost paid hours due to the coronavirus preferred this policy rather than a policy that would open up businesses. Among African Americans 76% preferred the policy to keep businesses closed.
  • Only 29% of respondents preferred a policy that would ease up on measures aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus soon, in order to open businesses and get the economy going again, even if that meant more people would get the coronavirus and could die.
  • A majority of Coloradans, 56%, think the states should take the lead in coordinating the response to the coronavirus while 35% feel the Federal Government should take the lead.
  • The survey asked respondents if the response to the coronavirus from federal, state, local governments and local school districts was excellent, good, fair or poor. For local school districts, 23% of respondents rated their response as excellent and 40% as good. For state government, 22% said their response has been excellent and 40% said it was good. Local governments also received high marks, with 18% rating their response as excellent and 42% as good.
  • The federal government’s response to the coronavirus was rated poorly, with only 12% of respondents rating their response as excellent and 25% rating the response from the federal government as good.
  • Coloradans rated the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (57% rated extremely or very trustworthy) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (55% rated extremely or very trustworthy) as the two most trustworthy organizations in providing accurate information about the coronavirus. Governor Polis had a combined trustworthy rating of 50%, President Donald Trump’s rating was 29% and the news media received a 20% combined trustworthy rating.
  • Respondents were asked to describe how their mood, emotions and mental health have been affected by the response to the coronavirus. Many respondents describe being very stressed and having increased anxiety. Others describe being depressed from isolation and being afraid to interact with other people and being anti-social. Several respondents describe their emotions as being on a roller coaster, sometimes feeling up and positive, then feeling depressed and down.
  • Fifty-three percent of all respondents, and 61% of women said the stress and worry related to the coronavirus has had a negative impact on their mental health. Other population subgroups that have had their mental health negatively impacted significantly include younger individuals aged 18 to 29 (69%), family households with a child aged 18 or younger (64%), Denver residents (62%), people who have lost their job or income (62%) and people who do not have health insurance (69%).
  • Just under half, or 46% of respondents were very concerned (13%) or somewhat concerned (33%) about lasting, negative impacts the coronavirus may have on the mental health of themselves or someone in their household. Twenty-seven percent of respondents were not too concerned and 26% were not concerned at all.
  • Among respondents that feel the coronavirus has had a negative impact on their mental health, 67% say they are very or somewhat concerned about the lasting, negative impacts to their mental health.
  • Since the coronavirus outbreak started, 11% of respondents say it is very difficult to pay for daily necessities and 24% say it is somewhat difficult. The 35% combined “very/somewhat difficult” post-outbreak measurement is a 16-point increase from the pre-outbreak measurement. Furthermore, respondents who felt that it was not difficult at all to pay for basic necessities before the coronavirus dropped from 49% to 35% since the coronavirus outbreak started, a difference of 14 points.
  • The survey included questions measuring “worry levels” for five different needs and programs that serve individuals and families. Three areas that survey respondents were worried about the most included help for the homeless and rent assistance (81% very/somewhat worried), essential workers having protective equipment such as masks (76% very/somewhat worried) and programs to support people who are hungry and not able to afford food (76% very/somewhat worried).
  • The survey presented respondents with two different viewpoints about what life will be like after the coronavirus is under control. The first viewpoint predicted that the way we live, socialize and work will return to “how it was” and the second viewpoint predicted significant changes. Among all respondents, 65% shared the viewpoint that there would be significant changes after the coronavirus was under control, and 28% believed things would return to how they were before the outbreak.
  • Respondents were read a description of five things that government may consider doing to protect the public health of Coloradans, and then asked if they thought the government should do more, do less or do about the same. Making healthcare more affordable received the most support, with 65% of respondents saying the government should do more. This was followed by assistance for people who can’t afford food (61%), assistance for people to pay their rent or mortgage (59%), assistance for people experiencing homelessness (58%), and paid sick leave, family leave and medical leave for workers (54%).

How Much Have People’s Lives Been Disrupted by the Outbreak?

Among all respondents, 51% said their lives have been disrupted a lot by the coronavirus outbreak, 35% said their lives have been disrupted some, 11% said not too much, and only 3% said their lives have not been impacted at all. Population subgroups that have had their lives disrupted the most include households with a child aged 18 or younger (58% a lot), people who rent their home (61% a lot) and people who have lost their job, lost income or had their paid hours reduced (63% a lot).

Other population subgroups that say their lives have been disrupted a lot include people on Medicaid (57% a lot) and households with annual income of $30,000 or less (57% a lot). Not surprisingly, among households with a family member experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus, 67% say their life has been disrupted a lot.

Is the Worst of Coronavirus Behind Us or is the Worse Yet to Come?

Among all Coloradans, 35% feel the worst of the coronavirus is behind us, 43% feel the worst is yet to come, and 21% are unsure or do not have an opinion. Population subgroups that have a larger percentage thinking the worst is behind us include men and individuals who are financially secure, employed or not worried at all about losing their job or income in the next six months.

Respondents with larger percentages that think the worst is yet to come include households of $30K annually or less (50%). The survey also finds 58% of individuals with a disability believe the worst is yet to come. Larger percentages of both urban women (51%) and suburban women (50%) are concerned that the worst of the coronavirus is yet to come. Other opinion measurements of interest are African Americans (55% worst to come) and 50% of senior citizens aged 65 or older believing the worst is yet to come.

Worries About the Coronavirus Outbreak, in Their Own Words

At the beginning of the survey, respondents were asked to describe their worries regarding the coronavirus outbreak. Reading through the responses, the emotions and fear for themselves and their family members not making through this difficult time become very clear. The two most common themes are concerns about their health and their economic situation in the future. To truly understand what Coloradans are going through, we strongly encourage everyone to read the verbatim responses to the following questions.

 “In your own words, what worries you about the coronavirus outbreak at this time?”

“I’m worried about finding work, the finances, and the bills. I’m worried how we are going to make it to the future, not knowing how far we can go with our income.” – Female, 55-59, Elbert County

 “It would be the economy. I don’t have work. I’m worried about everybody’s health. There are so many people dying.” -Male, 55-59, Arapahoe

 “That would be going back to my normal work and my parent’s health.” – Female, 40-44, Boulder County

 “I’m afraid of getting infected or getting furloughed from my job or basically being laid off by my company.” – Male, 35-39, Adams County

 “I’m worried that I won’t have a job to go back to when it is over.” – Female, 18-29, Fremont County

 “I am worried about my kids and their sports and education activities. Obviously, I’m worried when will the whole economy is going [to be] back in shape and getting people back to work.” – Male, 30-34, Jefferson County

 “I am worried about opening things too soon. People are thinking that everything is okay. People are trying to go back to normal, but things are getting worse.” – Female, 18-29, Weld County

 “Economic impact on those least able to financially cope with lost wages, scarcer supplies, medical bills, etc.” – Male, 45-49, Denver

 “I am worried about the economy, how it is going to recover, and how small businesses [will] respond back.” – Male, 55-59, Adams County

 “I would have to say it is the economy. I’m trying to figure out how everybody is going to bounce back. There might be lost jobs and layoffs. Imports, exports, and small businesses have been closed because of the COVID-19. I’m worried how it will affect the economy.” – Female, 30-34, Mesa County

 “I worry that all of my students are going to get it.” – Male, 50-54, Montezuma County

 “Death worries me. I’m sad that I didn’t get to go to my mother-in-law’s funeral.” -Female, 60-64, Jefferson County

 “I’m worried seriously about those who are at the nursing home. They are the most concerning for contracting the coronavirus.” – Male, 55-59, El Paso County

 “The people are not following the stay at home orders. The coronavirus does not just extend in time, but it comes back in its second wave.” – Male, 40-44, Gilpin County

 “What worries me the most is my finances. I lost my job directly because of the virus. I was working at a staffing agency, and they stopped using the service.” – Male, 18-29, Denver

How the Coronavirus Has Impacted Coloradans’ Financial Situations

Forty-three percent said the coronavirus has made their financial situation worse and 50% said their situation is the same as it was before. Population subgroups that have had their financial situation made worse include households with annual incomes of $30,000 or below (53%), individuals aged 18 to 29 (52%), people that do not have health insurance (62%), and individuals on Medicaid (66%). Not surprisingly, among individuals that do not have paid sick time offered from their employer, 51% said their financial situation is much worse compared to 35% of individuals whose employers offer paid sick time for their employees.

Coloradans Who Have Lost a Job, Income or Had Paid Hours Reduced

Just under half, or 47% of Coloradans say they or someone in their household has lost their job (16%), lost income (18%) or had their paid hours reduced (13%) as a result of the coronavirus. Thirty-three percent of respondents said they had not lost their job or income due to the coronavirus, and 17% said they were not working before the coronavirus started (respondents in this group were mostly retired, homemakers or students).

Population subgroups that are experiencing the brunt of job and income losses are younger people aged 18-29 (64% lost job, income or hours), people who rent their home (57%), individuals who are still working outside but have lost income or had paid hours reduced  (57%), folks on Medicaid (61%), households with $30,000 in annual income (53%) and households with an individual 18 years or younger (54%).

Population subgroups that have a higher percentage of people that are still working and have not lost income include married men (41% still working), individuals with a post-graduate degree (41%), and households with annual incomes of $100,00 or higher (46%).

Concerns About Losing Job, Income or Paid Hours in Next Six Months

Respondents were asked how concerned they were that someone in their household would lose their job, lose income or have paid hours reduced in the next six months. Among all respondents, 57% are either very concerned (27%) or somewhat concerned (30%). Population subgroups that had higher percentages that were very concerned included individuals with a high school education or less (36%), individuals with a disability (36%) or respondents who are on Medicaid (35%).

Profile of People Still Working at Home or Outside the Home

The survey attempted to build a demographic picture of Coloradans who are still working, and whether they are working at home or outside the home. Among the 622 respondents who were still working but had lost income or paid hours reduced, 51% said they were working from home and 36% said they were working outside the home. Not surprisingly, respondents with higher incomes and education levels were much more likely to be working from home. The opposite was true for respondents with lower incomes and lower education levels.

Coloradans’ Opinion of Their Financial Situation One Year from Now

The survey also asked Coloradans what they thought their financial situation would be one year from now. Among all respondents, 35% thought their financial situation would be better, 43% thought it would be about the same and 17% thought it would be worse compared to how it is now. The population subgroups with a positive, above average percentage saying their situation would be better included young individuals aged 18 to 29 (47%), people that have lost their job or income (42%), small town residents (42%) and individuals who are working outside the home (43%).

Two populations have a more negative view of their financial future compared to the overall population. The first group is African Americans, with 26% saying that they think their financial situation will be worse a year from now. The second population is individuals without health insurance, with 25% expecting their financial situation to be worse in a year.

Opinion of Coronavirus Policy and Safety Measures

Respondents were presented with two different viewpoints of policies aimed at slowing the coronavirus and then asked which they preferred. Among all respondents, 64% preferred a policy aimed to slow the spread of the coronavirus until more widespread testing become available, even if that meant many businesses will have to stay closed. One very interesting and powerful finding is 64% of Coloradans who have lost their job, lost income or had paid hours reduced due to the coronavirus preferred a policy that keeps businesses closed.

Only 29% of respondents preferred a policy that would ease up on measures aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus soon, in order to open businesses and get the economy going again, even if that meant more people would get coronavirus and could die.

Population subgroups with large majorities supporting the policy that would keep most businesses closed included Democratic-leaning individuals (80%), people on Medicaid (80%), people on Medicare (74%), urban women (72%), and seniors aged 65 or older (70%). Population subgroups that have larger majorities or pluralities preferring a policy to open businesses again included Republican men (55%), married men (38%), individuals in rural regions of the state (40%), and small towns (34%).

Opinion of Federal or State Government Leading Response to Virus

Fifty-six percent of Coloradans think the states should take the lead in coordinating the response to the coronavirus compared to 35% who feel the federal government should take the lead. The responses to this question across most population subgroups including gender, race, urban/suburban region and income are similar to the statewide percentages of 56% who think the state should lead and 35% who think the Federal Government should lead.

However, there are a few population subgroups that stand out, including individuals who are having a very difficult time paying for necessities (43% say fed should lead), single men (45% say fed should lead), 18-29 years old (split 44%/44%), people who live in rural areas (64% say state should lead), caretakers (61% say state should lead) and respondents who are not concerned at all about losing their job or income (63% state should lead).

Trustworthiness of Coronavirus Information Sources

The survey asked Coloradans to rate the trustworthiness of five different individuals and organizations when it comes to providing accurate information about the coronavirus. The two most trustworthy organizations were the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (57% extremely or very trustworthy) and the Centers for Disease Control (55% extremely or very trustworthy). The trustworthy rating for Governor Jared Polis was 50%, for President Trump it was 29%, and the news media received a 20% combined trustworthy rating.

Opinion of Federal, State, Local Government Response to Coronavirus

The survey asked respondents if they thought the response to the coronavirus from federal, state and local governments, as well as local school districts was excellent, good, fair or poor. Three of the four government entities tested in this question received strong ratings. For local school districts, 23% of respondents rated their response as excellent and 40% as good.

For state government, 22% said their response has been excellent and 40% said it was good. Local governments also received high marks, with 18% rating their response as excellent and 42% as good. The federal government’s response was rated poorly, with only 12% of respondents rating their response as excellent and 25% rating the response from the federal government as good.

Opinion of Federal Government Response to Coronavirus

Not surprisingly, a closer look at the responses regarding the federal government’s handling of the coronavirus finds significant differences by party affiliation, with 67% of Republicans rating the federal government’s handling as excellent or good, compared to only 20% of Democratic respondents and 30% of unaffiliated respondents.

Looking at responses to this question in another manner, population subgroups that show the highest percentage of rating the federal government’s response as poor include seniors aged 65 and older (49%), households with income of $100K or more (47%), individuals with a post-graduate degree (51%), people who feel the worst of the coronavirus is yet to come (54%), and respondents who want to keep businesses closed until there is more testing (50%).

Respondents Describe Their Moods, Emotions & Mental Health

Respondents were asked to describe how their mood, emotions and mental health have been affected by the response to the coronavirus. Many respondents describe being very stressed and having increased anxiety. They describe being depressed from isolation and being afraid to interact with other people and being anti-social.

Several respondents describe their emotions as being on a roller coaster, sometimes feeling up and positive, then feeling depressed and down. We strongly recommend everyone read the full responses to this open-ended question in order to understand how the coronavirus is impacting the mental health of families and individuals.

“In your own words, please describe how your mood, emotions or mental health have been affected by the response to the coronavirus.”

“I am somewhat depressed by it all. Not being able to exercise outside the home has both a mental and physical impact. A little annoyed with businesses advertising “we are all in this together.” – Male, 50-54, Denver

 “I would say that it affected my post-traumatic stress disorder and my anxiety.” – Female, 35-39, Mesa County

 “Being a 60-year old black man, I have a high-risk category to die from this disease. I’m nervous whenever I leave my house.” – Male, 55-59, Denver

 “Tired of the hype, panic and miscommunication. Annoyed that we have been virtually ignored up in the mountains, and annoyed that the news keeps making a big deal about masks, but then half the people they show wearing them have the masks on wrong.” – Female, 45-49, Eagle County

 “I am optimistic and nervous at the same time. There are times when you get stressed or worried about the news, but you try to stay calm.” – Male, 18-29, Jefferson County

 “I’ve felt very trapped and alone.” – Female, 18-29, Weld County

 “It really sucks because I can’t give my family hugs, we have to do an air fist bump. I’m a hugger. Also cabin fever is horrible, we go out in the backyard but it’s not the same as going out to hike.” – Female, 40-44, Denver

 “I am unsure and fearful of the unknown and what is going to happen.” -Male, 30-34, Pueblo County

 “It’s difficult to describe, but I’m trying to be strong for my kids.” – Female, 30-34, Boulder County

 “It changes all the time my mood is up and down depending on the day. I’m angrier than before because of the government and president. – Male, 35-39, Arapahoe County

 “I am pregnant so being locked in the house during this time has been pretty hard. I miss being out in society and seeing my friends. Family has had to cancel travel to visit us and we cancelled my baby shower, so it has been really depressing. But I am glad we’re all still working and saving more money than usual during this time.” – Female, 30-34, Arapahoe County

 “I am more stressed out than normal. I have more concerns about my family members health.” – Male, 60-64, Douglas County

 “I have been moody these few days, and I have three kids, so we are definitely stuck together. It is just stressful.” – Female, 18-29, Adams County

 “I’m extremely agitated because I am trapped in my house.” – Male, 45-49, El Paso County

 “I’m more wary of anything in public. I’m definitely feeling isolation and social repercussions of that.” – Female, 30-34, Jefferson County

Negative Impacts on Mental Health Due to Coronavirus Stress

This survey finds the coronavirus has negatively impacted the mental health of many people, particularly women. Fifty-three percent of all respondents, and 61% of women said the stress and worry related to the coronavirus has had a negative impact on their mental health. Other population subgroups that have had their mental health negatively impacted significantly include younger individuals aged 18 to 29 (69%), households with a child or individual 18 or younger (64%), Denver residents (62%), people who have lost their job or income (62%) and people who do not have health insurance (69%).

Concerns of Lasting, Negative Impacts on Mental Health

Just under half, or 46% of respondents were very concerned (13%) or somewhat concerned (33%) about lasting, negative impacts the coronavirus may have on the mental health of themselves or someone in their household. Twenty-seven percent of respondents were not too concerned and 26% were not concerned at all.

Some population subgroups with a majority feeling either very or somewhat concerned about the lasting impacts on their mental health include suburban women (53%), households with $30,000 annual income or less (55%), African Americans (51%), individuals that do not have health insurance (62%), and people who have lost a job, lost income or had paid hours reduced (56%). One striking observation is that 67% of the respondents who feel worried or stressed related to the coronavirus say they are very or somewhat concerned about the lasting, negative impacts to their mental health.

The Increase in Difficulty to Pay for Basic Necessities of Daily Life

The survey included two questions measuring respondents’ difficulty to pay for the necessities of daily life before and after the coronavirus outbreak. Before the coronavirus outbreak only 4% of respondents said it was very difficult to pay for basic necessities of daily life and 15% said it was somewhat difficult, for a combined “very/somewhat difficult” measurement of 19%. The remaining responses to this question were 31% saying it was not too difficult to pay for basic necessities of daily life and 49% saying it was not difficult at all.

Since the outbreak started, 11% of respondents now say it is very difficult to pay for daily necessities and 24% say it is somewhat difficult, resulting in a “very/somewhat difficult” combined measurement of 35%. The 35% “very/somewhat difficult” post-outbreak measurement is a 16-point increase from the pre-outbreak measurement. Furthermore, the percent of respondents that said it was not difficult at all to pay for the basic necessities of daily life dropped from 49% to 35%, a 14-point decrease. Among African American respondents there was a 12-point increase in the percentage of respondents saying it was very or somewhat difficult to pay for basic necessities of daily life.

Comparing the responses to the before/after questions by population subgroup, we can identify segments of our population that are having a difficult time paying for the basic necessities of everyday life. Keep in mind the overall average increase in people saying it is either very or somewhat difficult to pay for daily necessities is 16 points. The table below shows that single women (+21), households with incomes at or below $30,000 (+25), individuals who rent their home (+21), and Arapahoe County residents (+25) with the largest increases in the combined very difficult/somewhat difficult measurement.

Worries About Paying for Necessities of Daily Life in Next 12 Months

The survey described five different necessities of everyday life to respondents and asked them if they were worried about being able to pay for these necessities in the next twelve months. The necessity that respondents were the most concerned about was paying the rent or mortgage and overall healthcare with both necessities having 36% being very or somewhat concerned. This was followed by paying for food (30% combined), then utilities (28%), and prescriptions and medications (26%). The following tables show responses by population subgroup with the highest percentage of worry.

 

Worries About Paying for Healthcare in the Next 12 Months

One interesting finding is that fewer senior citizens aged 65 and older appear to be worried about paying for healthcare. Only 8% of them say they are very worried and 16% somewhat worried about paying for healthcare, for a combined very/somewhat worried measurement of 24%. This combined measurement is 12 points below the overall survey average.

Worries About Paying the Rent or Mortgage in the Next 12 Months

The following table shows population subgroups that have a strong plurality or majority of respondents being very or somewhat worried about paying the mortgage or rent in the next 12 months.

Worries About Paying for Food in the Next 12 Months

The following table shows population subgroups that have a strong plurality or majority of respondents being very or somewhat worried about paying for food in the next 12 months.

Worries About Paying for Utilities in the Next 12 Months

The following table shows population subgroups that have a strong plurality or majority of respondents being very or somewhat worried about paying for utilities in the next 12 months.

Worries About Paying for Prescriptions in the Next 12 Months

The following table shows population subgroups that have a strong plurality or majority of respondents being very or somewhat worried about paying for prescriptions or medications in the next 12 months.

Worries About Needs and Programs

The survey included questions measuring “worry levels” for five different needs and programs that serve individuals and families. The three areas that survey respondents were worried about the most were help for the homeless and rent assistance (81% very/somewhat worried), essential workers having personal protective equipment such as masks (76% very/somewhat worried) and programs to support people who are hungry and not able to afford food (76% very/somewhat worried). Among African American respondents the combined very/somewhat worry levels were notably higher for the questions regarding personal protective equipment for essential workers (84%) and local hospitals running out of beds or ventilators (75%).

Worries About Personal Protective Equipment for Essential Workers

Among all respondents, 43% are very worried and 33% somewhat worried that essential workers do not have the necessary personal protective equipment such as masks to protect themselves while they work.

Worries About Local Hospital Running Out of Beds or Ventilators

Among all respondents, 23% are very worried and 37% somewhat worried that their local hospital will run out of beds or ventilators to treat patients. The following table shows population subgroups that have higher levels of worry than the statewide average.

Worries About Food Programs to Help Hungry Not Able to Meet Needs

Among all respondents, 32% are very worried and 44% somewhat worried that programs meant to support people who are hungry will be unable to meet the needs of Coloradans who are unable to afford food.

Worries About Help for Homeless and People Struggling to Pay Rent

Among all respondents, 41% are very worried and 40% somewhat worried that help will not be available for people who are homeless or struggling to afford their rent or mortgage during the coronavirus outbreak.

Worries About Help and Support for People’s Mental Health

Among all respondents, 29% are very worried and 43% somewhat worried that people in Colorado who need help and support for their mental health will be unable to get it during the coronavirus outbreak. The following table shows differences between certain population subgroups. The most striking difference in opinion to this question is the difference between people that think the worst of the coronavirus is behind us and people who feel the worst is yet to come.

Views About Way of Life Returning to How it Was Before or Anticipating Significant Changes

The survey presented respondents with two different viewpoints of what life will be like after the coronavirus is under control. The first viewpoint predicted that the way we live, socialize and work will return to “how it was” and the second viewpoint predicted significant changes. Among all respondents, 65% shared the viewpoint that there would be significant changes after the coronavirus was under control, and 28% believed things would return to how it was before the outbreak.

Views of Government Doing More for Public Health After Coronavirus

One consequence of the coronavirus pandemic is the fact that federal, state and local governments have been providing essential resources, needs and services in order to ensure the health of tens of thousands of Coloradans. Without the help and support of government in this crisis, the health of thousands of individuals and families would likely be much worse off. This survey attempted to broadly measure public opinion of things the government may consider doing to support the public health of Colorado once the coronavirus is under control.

Respondents were read a description of five things that government may consider doing for public health, and then asked if they thought the government should do more, do less or do about the same than it was prior to the coronavirus outbreak. Making healthcare more affordable received the most support, with 65% of respondents saying the government should do more. This was followed by assistance for people who can’t afford food (61%), assistance for people to pay their rent or mortgage (59%), assistance for people experiencing homelessness (58%) and paid sick leave, family leave and medical leave for workers (54%).  Among African American respondents, support for government doing more for all five suggestions was higher than the statewide percentages.

Conclusion

The primary objective of this research project was to measure and understand the concerns, needs, experiences and viewpoints of Coloradans regarding the coronavirus pandemic. A second objective was to provide federal, state and local decision makers, the healthcare community, the media and the general public with information so that they have a better understanding of how the coronavirus outbreak is impacting people’s lives. We hope the information from this public opinion research project meets those standards now, as well as long after the coronavirus outbreak has subsided.

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