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Responses to coronavirus online poll

Economic impact tops concerns
Mar 16, 2020

With more than 300 responses to our online poll about the coronavirus, economic impact appears to be in the lead as far as concerns go and residents do not feel the government is handling the crisis well.

Out of 314 responses to the question, "What is your greatest concern right now?" 34% (107 responses) cited economic impact.

Another 21% (66) picked "contracting the illness" as their greatest concern.

18.5% (58) expressed worry about a relative with health issues.

Closings of businesses and schools ranked next with 8.6 percent (27).

Other areas were lower on the list such as running out of household supplies at 5.1% (16 responses) and travel bans.

Small numbers of people typed in "other" concerns including that people would panic, not use common sense and arguments that there was media hype.

On the question of how well is the government handling this crisis 40.4% (128 responses) felt it was doing poorly. Another 21.5% (68) thought it could improve, 19.9% (63) thought it was doing acceptably well and 18.3% (58) said very well.

We received 77 written comments. Many of the comments raise concerns about people panicking, blowing things out of proportion and whether the media coverage is driving these problems.

"The media has caused undue panic and led people to literally empty grocery shelves. There is a way to inform without frightening people. If you are running out of food and household supplies, thank the media."

Many are concerned about other issues as well.

"I hear a lot about the media creating panic. I think the problem is us...the viewers. Two people can listen to the same broadcast and take away so different meanings. Prepare to stay at home unless work school or necessary shopping and wash your hands and keep things clean. Simple"

"If closings of schools, businesses, town offices and churches are to happen, better now than weeks from now. Contain and mitigate now, don't wait for further positive tests."

"Never in my life have I been worried about getting sick, until Trumplethinskin and his band of gropey old white guys decided the poor people in this country should die."

"Let me divide 'the government' in four: local and regional and state 'very well'; federal 'poorly', with federal as the most important of the four."

For some, it is a matter of perspective.

"So far this pandemic has been a real lesson on perspective and priorities; my university has gone online, my spring athletic season has been cancelled, most of my belongings are inaccessible in my dorm room... but I am healthy, safe, and grateful for family and the ability to stay in touch virtually with friends."

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