Almost half of Americans say they talk about the virus most of the time

May 15, 2020, 11:37 AM
talk about virus...
Utah has been ranked as one of the five states with the lowest death rates caused by COVID-19, according to a new study by Statista. (Photo Credit: CDC)
(Photo Credit: CDC)

While a majority of Americans report they need to take breaks from COVID-19 news, it doesn’t stop them from talking about the virus nearly all the time. Roughly 44% of U.S. adults say they talk about the coronavirus most or almost all of the time, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center. 

We talk about the virus, but we also need a break

The April survey found that U.S. adults report discussing COVID-19 either in person, over the internet or on the phone for a majority of their time — despite a majority of this demographic reporting they need to take breaks from COVID-related news coverage. 

In another study from Pew Research Center, roughly seven out of 10 Americans say they need to consciously step away from news coverage — with another 43% saying it leaves them feeling worse afterward. 

Despite this, it’s not a surprise the virus is so prominent in conversations. The virus has touched on nearly every aspect of U.S. lives. 43% of Americans report they or someone in their household has lost a job or taken a pay cut. 

Widespread stay-at-home orders have been issued throughout the country, requiring all but essential employees to work from home. 

Something to talk about

Overall, 31% of U.S. adults report talking about the coronavirus with other people most of the time, with another 13% discussing it almost all the time. This is according to an April survey conducted by the Pew Research Center as part of the Center’s American News Pathways project. 

The largest percentage of America, coming in at about 45%, report only sometimes discussing the virus with other people — while 11% report hardly ever –if not ever — talking about it. 

According to the study, there are some distinct demographic differences between who’s talking about the virus and who’s not: 

  • Women are more likely to talk about the virus than men (47% v. 41%)
  • Black adults (52%) are more likely to talk about the virus than Hispanic (46%) or white adults (42%)
  • Older people above the age of 65 (38%) are less likely to talk about the virus than young people ages 18-29 (47%), despite being at a higher risk 
  • College graduates (50%) are more likely to talk about the virus than those with high school education or less (39%)
  • Democrats (50%) are more likely to talk about the virus than Republicans (39%) 

Adult’s tendencies to talk about the virus also depends on how closely they report following the news. Of those who say they follow the news “very closely,” roughly 58% report talking about the coronavirus most or almost all of the time. 

For those who say they don’t follow the news very closely, if at all, only 19% report talking about COVID-19 most or almost all of the time.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a
virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for
    at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune
    systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at
    least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay
    at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

Coronavirus Q&A

Coronavirus Information

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints</ span>

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</ p>

Commonly asked questions, World Health

Cases in the United States

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

This photo purports to show the suspected Chinese balloon flying over Mills River, North Carolina, ...
Heather Chen and Wayne Chang, CNN

China says it ‘reserves the right’ to deal with ‘similar situations’ after US shoot down suspected spy balloon

China says it "reserves the right" to deal with "similar situations" following the United States' decision to shoot down its high-altitude balloon.
11 hours ago
In the golden age of space exploration we live in, cosmic revelations seem to occur more frequently...
Ashley Strickland, CNN

Cosmic seaplanes and self-growing bricks could help us explore other worlds

In the golden age of space exploration we live in, cosmic revelations seem to occur more frequently than ever before.
1 day ago
The Chinese national flag is seen at the entrance to the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing...
By Zachary Cohen, CNN

A look at China’s history of spying in the US

The suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that violated American airspace this week has fueled a diplomatic crisis with the postponement of Secretary of State Antony Blinken's planned trip to Beijing.
1 day ago
Around 3:15 p.m. Saturday, February 4, a 34-year-old female sustained critical injuries after being...
Waverly Golden

AirMed responds to tubing accident in Peter Sinks, Logan

Around 3:15 p.m. Saturday, February 4, a 34-year-old female sustained critical injuries after being struck by a snowmobile.
1 day ago
A balloon flies in the sky over Billings, Montana, U.S. February 1, 2023, in this picture obtained ...
Zachary Cohen, CNN

US military has shot down the Chinese spy balloon off US East Coast, US official says

The US military has shot down the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over the Atlantic Ocean off the Eastern Seaboard, a US official said Saturday.
1 day ago
The Goonies House...
Taylor Romine and Ralph Ellis, CNN

Man wanted for leaving a dead fish at ‘The Goonies’ house saved by Coast Guard in daring rescue

A man wanted by police in an incident at a house featured in "The Goonies" was the subject of a Coast Guard rescue when he was tossed from a stolen boat as it capsized, authorities said.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Almost half of Americans say they talk about the virus most of the time