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Few Americans Are Highly Concerned about Coronavirus

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.

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Few Americans Are Highly Concerned about Coronavirus
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A Bain/Dynata survey shows that while nearly half of Americans are somewhat concerned about the financial and health effects of the coronavirus outbreak, few are highly worried and may be at risk of being caught off guard if more dire projections come true.

The survey, conducted from March 2 through March 6, finds that only 21% of respondents are highly concerned about the financial effects, and even fewer—16%— are alarmed about the health consequences. Conversely, about one-third of respondents believe the virus is basically ”just the flu” and 1 out of 4 believe there will be little to no negative financial consequences.

The survey also shows key differences in demographics: Younger survey respondents (age 18-44) are much more likely to be highly concerned about the health and financial effects of the virus than older generations.

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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. 

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