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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
spreading:

  • 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

KSL
Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s
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
Organization

Cases in the United States

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