Younger Americans are more concerned than older people about the dangers of COVID-19, and they’re far more likely to have taken actions to protect themselves.
A Bain/Dynata survey from March 2 to 6 showed that roughly one-third of people age 18 to 44 expect serious health or financial consequences from the coronavirus, compared with 5% to 17% of people in older age groups. Overall, 42% of respondents have taken precautionary steps such as going out less or stocking up on food and health supplies, signifying a mass adoption of responses to COVID-19.
But the survey found a discrepancy between the risk of disease and the likelihood of taking action. Sixty-seven percent of younger people, who are statistically the least susceptible to illness, said they’ve taken such steps, compared with 29% of people age 45 to 64, and 24% of people 65 and older, the group at greatest risk from the virus.
As of last week, many in the US expected at least some negative health or financial effects from the outbreak, but only about one-fifth were highly worried.
As the global pandemic deepens and the human cost of Covid-19 rises, the novel coronavirus outbreak is sending shocks through the world economy. But across industries, companies can take action now to protect their employees and customers and minimize the economic damage.
Karen Harris is managing director of Bain & Company's Macro Trends Group and is based in the firm's New York office.
Dynata provides first-party data for the Bain Consumer Health Index, and provides a nationally representative sample of US adults (weekly) that provided the underlying data for this analysis.