We launched our CommunityWisdom survey on coping with COVID-19 challenges as a public service to help guide support efforts, starting in Madison, CT. It's now open for more people to share their views and learn from each other. If you have already participated, many thanks.
We hear you. Here's a brief summary of results to date:
- Not surprisingly, the vast majority of respondents are feeling more stress than usual -- primarily focused on fear and worry about the health of loved ones.
- About two-thirds have significant signs of stress: strong emotions or mood swings, lack of energy, and/or difficulty sleeping.
- In terms of challenges, the big one is not being able to do the day-to-day things we like to do. And more than half of the people report feeling lonely.
- The major ways of coping are reaching out to family, friends and coworkers, watching TV shows and movies, and getting some exercise.
- Relationships with family and friends were highlighted as the #1 answer to what's helping people cope as well as the most positive impact of this crisis.
- When people leave their living space these days, it tends to be for getting food or getting some fresh air / exercise.
- A caution: Only 60% say that everyone in their living space is following guidelines. That means that 40% are not, even if they are being 'pretty careful'
We're all in this together. By listening to shared wisdom about coping, we can all be better prepared.
How many people are living with you these days?
Most are living with 1-3 other people. 13% are living alone.
Is this different than usual, due to the COVID-19 situation?
16% are living with more people than usual.
Is everyone in your living space following guidelines?
Only 60% report being very careful.
If you leave your living space these days, what are the reasons?
Most people are going out only for food or fresh air/exercise.
How would you rate your stress level now that COVID-19 is in the United States?
75% say their stress is higher than usual.
What TYPES of stress are you experiencing?
61% report a lot of fear and worry about the health of loved ones. Only 23% are that concerned about their own health. Concern about money/finances, job/business, and getting groceries/supplies are also major stressors.
What SIGNS of stress are you experiencing?
At least 60% report difficulty sleeping, lack of energy, strong emotions or mood swings, and/or poor appetite or overeating.
In terms of dealing with the COVID-19 situation, this is my biggest pressure or worry:
Family health and safety tops the list, followed by societal health, job security, and personal finances.
How does the COVID-19 situation make everyday life harder for you?
79% say not being able to do what they want to do is the biggest challenge.
How has the COVID-19 situation affected your work or school?
54% say they are now working or learning from home.
How are you feeling these days?
We used the 3-item UCLA Loneliness Scale (feel isolated, lack companionship, feel left out). 53% reported at least one sign of loneliness.
What are you doing to cope with the COVID-19 situation?
Most people are coping by connecting with family, friends and coworkers, watching TV shows/movies, and getting some exercise.
What is helping you cope with the current crisis?
Friends/family and activity/exercise were mentioned most frequently when we asked a slightly different question about coping.
What kind of education or support would be most helpful to you?
People would like help with several things, mostly getting enough exercise/activity, having the motivation and energy they need, and managing stress and understanding feelings.
What do you see as the MOST positive impact of the COVID-19 situation?
Friends and family tops the list. We see a lot of comments about not taking these relationships for granted.