Mar 24, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus' growing emotional toll

Data: Axios/Ipsos surveys of 1,092 U.S. adults, conducted March 13-16, and 998 adults, conducted March 20-23, 2020. Margin of error of ±3.2 and ±3.3 percentage points; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The response to the coronavirus outbreak is increasingly taxing Americans' mental and emotional health, according to the second installment of our Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

By the numbers: Last week, just 29% of the people we surveyed said their emotional well-being had gotten worse lately. This week, that's up to 43% — compared with a much more modest increase in the number of people who said their physical health has deteriorated.

Between the lines: This change was particularly evident among people who said they've had to start working from home, and our survey showed a sharp uptick in the number of Americans who have started undertaking various social-distancing measures.

  • 74% said they had canceled or skipped large gatherings — that number was below 50% a week ago.
  • 25% said they've gone out to eat in the past week, down from 56%.

Go deeper

Coronavirus forces record-low business conditions

Data: New York Federal Reserve; Chart: Axios Visuals

The first piece of concrete data on the U.S. economy since the COVID-19 outbreak started to significantly impact U.S. firms was released Monday and the results were not good.

Driving the news: The New York Fed's Empire State business conditions index fell by a record 34.4 points this month to its lowest level since the financial crisis in 2009, based on surveys conducted March 2–10. Economists had expected a reading in the single digits.

Trump pulls tighter with Biden in nationwide polling

Photos: (L) Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images; Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump gained ground on Joe Biden in the WashPost/ABC News poll this month, going from 7 points down in February to a statistical tie — Biden 49% to Trump 47% among registered voters.

Why it matters: Preferences among all adults has Biden standing at 50% and Trump at 44%, though the poll also tests national sentiment and not state-by-state competitions for an Electoral College majority.

Klobuchar on coronavirus: "The hardest thing is this is such a lonely disease"

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), whose husband has tested positive for the coronavirus, said on CNN Sunday that the hardest part of her experience is that it is "such a lonely disease."

Why it matters: Even for those who have not tested positive, the coronavirus pandemic is having a significant impact on Americans’ mental and emotional health, according to polling from Axios and Ipsos.