Apr 14, 2020 - Health

Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index Week 5: Americans face the risks

Data: Ipsos/Axios survey, margin of error of ±3.3 percentage points; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Seven in 10 people now consider going to the grocery store a risky act — and a majority of Americans say they've started wearing masks outside their homes at least sometimes — in the latest installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: In Week 5 of our national poll, we're seeing in more detail just how people are adapting to common fears and changes about the "new normal."

There's more evidence that the virus is impacting society unevenly.

  • 57% of those still leaving the home to work as they normally would say they feel that doing their job is moderately or very risky, compared with 13% of those working from home.
  • African Americans (50%) and Hispanics (47%) are more likely than non-Hispanic whites (37%) to see their work as risky to their health or well-being.
  • People furloughed or laid off or whose employers closed were more likely to report rising household debt, domestic disagreements and watching more TV.
  • "Those who still work out in the world are particularly concerned about the risks they are running, and those laid off are reporting increasing debt and familial conflict," said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs.

Other top lines from the survey: Trust in the federal government and state government is sliding slowly as the pandemic wears on and infections and joblessness rises.

  • One in five Americans now know someone who's tested positive.
  • Four in five worry about the possibility of getting sick themselves, though only one in five is "extremely concerned."
  • 73% say airplane flights or taking mass transit poses large health risks.

The intrigue: The large majority that considers grocery shopping to be risky helps explain shifts toward more online and delivery services.

  • Just 28% said having food delivered to their homes poses a moderate or large risk, compared to 33% for picking up takeout.

Masks, more than gloves, are becoming part of Americans' daily uniform when they suit up to leave home.

  • 56% said they wear a mask occasionally, sometimes or all the time (30% said all the time), while only 37% said they ever wear gloves out.
  • Democrats (71%), older Americans (65%) and women (63%) were more likely to say they're wearing masks some or all of the time. That's higher than Republicans (50%), independents (49%), men (49%) and younger age groups.
  • Counterintuitively, people still working outside the home (46%) were less likely than those working remotely (60%) to say they were wearing masks.

Trust in the federal government to look out for people's best interests slid from 53% to 45% since Week 2, when we began asking the question.

  • Trust in state governments fell as well, from 71% to 65% since Week 2.
  • But trust in local government has held steady at 69% for the past three weeks, down slightly from a high of 71% in Week 2.
  • Meanwhile, respondents' already high trust in their employers has climbed steadily, from 68% to 79%.
  • And 84% said they have either a great deal or fair amount of trust in local health officials and health care workers.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted April 10-13 by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,098 general population adults age 18 or older.

  • The margin of sampling error is +/- 3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.
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