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Data: Harris Poll of 4,069 adults; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Over the past week, American attitudes toward the coronavirus have become dramatically more serious, as the U.S. has seen an uptick in positive cases and precautionary measures, according to a new survey provided exclusively to Axios by The Harris Poll.

Why it matters: The data shows that the public has developed a heightened sense awareness around the virus, and is losing its feeling of invulnerability.

  • More people are worried about hospitals running out of ventilators, fewer people are willing to shake hands with others, and roughly a quarter of the population fears dying from the virus. 
  • More people say they have canceled or postponed upcoming travel plans due to the coronavirus.

By the numbers: More Americans are taking precautionary measures.

  • More than 80% of Americans say they've increased washing their hands since the virus outbreak and more than 70% say they now use hand sanitizer.
  • A majority of Americans say they're stocking up on bottled water, canned goods, frozen food and toilet paper.

Between the lines: The survey also finds that more Americans are quickly changing their purchasing habits, which could have implications for the economy.

  • More than one-quarter of respondents (27%) say that the virus has had "major impacts" on their shopping habits.
  • More than half (53%) of respondents said Wednesday they that were no longer willing to go shopping, up from 43% just a few days ago.

Be smart: America's wake-up call comes as the administration and local governments have shown more signs that they are taking the spread of the virus seriously.

  • In recent days, more than half of the states in the U.S. have closed schools, cities have announced shelter-in-place orders and the White House has advised that no more than 10 people gather at a time.
  • That level of increased attention from the top seems to be resonating with Americans, as more say they regularly get information from the White House and state governors than they did when the survey was first deployed a week ago.

The bottom line: Americans are finally beginning to take the coronavirus seriously.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Report: LGBTQ+ Afghans' lives "dramatically worsened" under Taliban rule

Taliban fighters in Kabul, Afghanistan, earlier this month. Photo: Mohd Rasfan/AFP via Getty Images

LGBTQ+ Afghans have been threatened, attacked and "faced an increasingly desperate situation and grave threats to their safety" since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan last August, per a report published Wednesday.

What they're saying: "We spoke with LGBT Afghans who have survived gang rape, mob attacks, or have been hunted by their own family members who joined the Taliban, and they have no hope that state institutions will protect them," per a statement from study co-author J. Lester Feder.

4 hours ago - World

Canadian Indigenous group finds 93 suspected unmarked graves

A makeshift memorial honoring the 215 children whose remains were found in a mass grave in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, last May. Photo: Cole Burston/AFP via Getty Images

Indigenous leaders in Canada's western province of British Columbia said Tuesday they believe they've found 93 unmarked graves near a former boarding school.

The big picture: Hundreds of mass graves have been found at the grounds of former residential schools for Indigenous children since last May, when the remains of 215 children were uncovered at one such site in B.C.

7 hours ago - World

Coast Guard searches for 39 people after boat capsizes off Florida coast

A U.S. Coast Guard ship leaving its base in Miami Beach, Florida, in July. Photo: AP/Marta Lavandier

U.S. Coast Guard crews were searching into the night for 39 people whose boat sank off Florida's coast over the weekend after traveling from the Bahamas.

The big picture: A "good Samaritan" contacted the Coast Guard about 8 a.m. Tuesday to say they "rescued a man clinging to a capsized vessel" 45 miles east of Fort Pierce, per a tweet from the agency, which noted it was dealing with "a suspected human smuggling venture."