Who Prepares for COVID-19, and Why
SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 25, 2019—Why are some people out socializing during the COVID-19 pandemic, while others are disinfecting the dog and never leaving their homes?
David B. Feldman, professor of counseling psychology at Santa Clara University and co-host of the weekly radio program ‘About Health’ on KPFA 94.1FM, has conducted a study of 222 people across 38 states—with a range of ages and backgrounds—to find out how much they were taking steps to protect themselves from COVID-19; how their perception of virus mortality rates correlates with willingness and desire to take precautions; and what sources they trust for factual information about the pandemic.
The results, which have been submitted to a journal for academic peer-review, showed several things:
- About 49% of participants said that a 3% mortality rate (current for COVID-19) wouldn’t spur them to do much to protect themselves.
- Two simple human experiences—hope and fear—most robustly related to how much people said they’re taking steps to protect themselves.
- People are getting COVID-19 news from many sources. They trust the CDC website the most; social media sites the least; and White House statements no more than Twitter.
Feldman said the findings have many implications, including for public media campaigns to emphasize both somber facts but also a hopeful outlook and "can-do" spirit. He is available (email@example.com) to discuss the study and its implications for:
- public health information campaigns
- how people can best convince loved ones to protect themselves
- how people can manage their feelings most usefully
- psychological counseling
A summary abstract of the academic paper can be found here.
A podcast containing partial results of the study can be found here.
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Communications | firstname.lastname@example.org | 408-554-5121