19 votes

Americans' opinions on the coronavirus are changing fast

20 comments

  1. [6]
    moonbathers
    Link
    There's nothing I can say here that I haven't said already. We are so, so fucked.

    There's nothing I can say here that I haven't said already. We are so, so fucked.

    12 votes
    1. [5]
      teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      How fucked? Great Depression 2? Everyone dies?

      How fucked? Great Depression 2? Everyone dies?

      3 votes
      1. Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        Mortality of this even if it goes unchecked is not very large (as a % of all cases) so everyone dying is not going to happen. We will absolutely see a fundamental shift in how businesses operate,...

        Mortality of this even if it goes unchecked is not very large (as a % of all cases) so everyone dying is not going to happen.

        We will absolutely see a fundamental shift in how businesses operate, we will have a global economic depression for some time while the world is quarantining themselves and some period of time afterwards, we're going to see a shift in how we deal with pandemic response (not just South Korea), and hopefully we'll see the whole world shift a little bit more progressive.

        17 votes
      2. [3]
        moonbathers
        Link Parent
        I don't know in particular. I've had that mentality for a while, even before this. But if we're in the grip of a pandemic and people: approve of Trump's handling of this shitshow still don't view...

        I don't know in particular. I've had that mentality for a while, even before this. But if we're in the grip of a pandemic and people:

        • approve of Trump's handling of this shitshow
        • still don't view this as a threat
        • insist on their right to do whatever they want, even if it endangers themself and others!

        then we're fucked, in some way or another. If we don't see a major culture shift toward being more caring and less selfish because of this, if all the insider-trading Congresspeople and others aren't thrown in jail, if everyone who was involved in suppressing our response to this because it made the regime look bad isn't thrown in jail and/or tried for crimes against humanity, I have no faith in the American people to ever change, and global warming will kill us.

        10 votes
        1. skybrian
          Link Parent
          The polls are a lagging indicator since they happen over multiple days. I think the main takeaway is that opinions are shifting. I don't think we will go back to the same politics as before.

          The polls are a lagging indicator since they happen over multiple days. I think the main takeaway is that opinions are shifting. I don't think we will go back to the same politics as before.

          9 votes
        2. jzimbel
          Link Parent
          I feel the same way after seeing this video today of Trump laughing at my state's governor for complaining that he lost out to the fed on 3 bids for PPE and other essential equipment after...

          I feel the same way after seeing this video today of Trump laughing at my state's governor for complaining that he lost out to the fed on 3 bids for PPE and other essential equipment after following the instructions Trump himself gave. The fact that states are competing with the federal government for goods is terrifying. The fact that all Trump could say was "you should have bid more" is terrifying. People will die as a direct result of this. I have a lot less confidence that the goods will be used effectively in the fed's hands than in those of individual states.

          I think residents of even mid-sized US cities will be completely left to their own devices for surviving this disease within a week or two.

          6 votes
  2. Rez
    Link
    I thought this might pierce the bubble, but even then I was surprised by how fast some online-type Trump supporters turned heel on this issue from "It's a hoax, we don't need to do anything, it's...

    I thought this might pierce the bubble, but even then I was surprised by how fast some online-type Trump supporters turned heel on this issue from "It's a hoax, we don't need to do anything, it's not that bad" or even "Trump is botching this" (like when they were hysterical about Iran or his due process comment on guns) to "Trump is handling it great now, so he always handled it great, why are you attacking him?" I guess even though it's been talked about for months, people really didn't start paying attention until last week when it started affecting the average person's reality (e.g. celebrity diagnoses, grocery store runs).

    What remains to be seen though is the kind of political action to be taken. Something really will have to be immediately done that's effective for the average household's situation. I mean we had months to hash out these policies but oh well. We're in that transition period where all the workers laid off in the last week are quickly going to run up against their savings, so I expect these opinions to quickly change, and fast, in either direction. One thing Trump has going for him is that he's always been relatively apathetic about political ideology given that much of his support comes from a cult-of-personality. He can sell liberal ideas (which would be most effective in this type of crisis) as conservative to his base if it simply comes from his mouth.

    7 votes
  3. [2]
    bleem
    Link
    Not to be one of those people but I was telling my family about this back when it was first spreading. Nobody believed it would get here. Thankfully I am stocked on supplies but will have to share...

    Not to be one of those people but I was telling my family about this back when it was first spreading. Nobody believed it would get here. Thankfully I am stocked on supplies but will have to share with family members that live close by.

    4 votes
    1. krg
      Link Parent
      Yea, I was quoting the 30-70% worldwide infection rate and the 3.5% case fatality rate to give a ~75-150 million person death toll to people and... still didn't matter. Most people can't think of...

      Yea, I was quoting the 30-70% worldwide infection rate and the 3.5% case fatality rate to give a ~75-150 million person death toll to people and... still didn't matter. Most people can't think of consequences outside their immediate household.

      2 votes
  4. [11]
    Kuromantis
    Link

    Some of those respondents, though, may be more worried about the economic impacts of the pandemic than about getting sick. Already as of March 13-14, when an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist College poll was conducted, 18 percent of working adults said that they or someone in their household had been let go or had their work hours reduced due to the virus. According to a March 13-16 Morning Consult poll, 84 percent of registered voters were very or somewhat concerned about the impact the coronavirus would have on the U.S. economy. And according to the Pew Research Center, 70 percent of Americans view the coronavirus outbreak as a major threat to the U.S. economy, while only 27 percent view it as a major threat to their personal health. (To our point above, Pew’s poll was conducted March 10-16, and the later respondents were contacted, the more likely they were to say the virus is a big threat.)

    Americans also appear to be giving President Trump higher marks for how he has handled the crisis following a week in which he has appeared to take it more seriously, giving a prime-time address to the nation and announcing strict guidelines to slow the virus’s spread. In this week’s Reuters/Ipsos poll, respondents were split 47 percent to 47 percent on whether they approved or disapproved of the way Trump was handling the coronavirus. That’s an improvement from March 2-3, when Reuters/Ipsos found that 38 percent approved and 47 percent disapproved. Similarly, the most recent YouGov/The Economist poll gave Trump a 45 percent approval rating on the coronavirus and a 46 percent disapproval rating. In the pollster’s March 1-3 survey, 37 percent approved and 47 percent disapproved. Interestingly, both polls showed little change in the number of Americans who disapproved of Trump’s performance on the issue, just more people approving of it.

    3 votes
    1. [5]
      gpl
      Link Parent
      I've seen some polls indicating that a majority of Americans approve of Trump's handling of the virus so far. I have a feeling a large part of that is because we are early on in this thing and...

      I've seen some polls indicating that a majority of Americans approve of Trump's handling of the virus so far. I have a feeling a large part of that is because we are early on in this thing and Trump keeps promising things, but there hasn't been enough time for those things to pan out. He has promised a large number of masks that won't be ready for months, hyping up a possible therapeutic drug that has not been FDA approved, promising ventilators that aren't made. Once it becomes clear that those promises likely won't come through, I expect to see the numbers drop again.

      Even I must admit I was surprised at how seriously (for Trump) he seemed to be taking it earlier in the week. His press conference felt normal almost, or as normal as they could given Trump. But as we have gone later in the week there has been a return to his normal ways of attacking the press, shifting blame, etc. I would be surprised if the approval numbers stay up for long, but then again little surprises me politically these days.

      9 votes
      1. [2]
        SantalBlush
        Link Parent
        If the fatality rates are higher in cities than in rural areas, he can use this to pretend that city "liberals" mishandled the pandemic. I think his approval ratings may rise when this is all over.

        If the fatality rates are higher in cities than in rural areas, he can use this to pretend that city "liberals" mishandled the pandemic. I think his approval ratings may rise when this is all over.

        6 votes
        1. gpl
          Link Parent
          It's also important to note that his overall approval has been pretty much steady during this, when in a normal case you might expect a rally-around-the-flag effect as we have seen in past crises....

          It's also important to note that his overall approval has been pretty much steady during this, when in a normal case you might expect a rally-around-the-flag effect as we have seen in past crises. And we are only at the beginning of this - we have yet to even see all of the first order effects, let along ripple effects. And we haven't seen any attack ads over this which we surely will see as the election draws near. Trump's early insistence that everything was under control juxtaposed with whatever the end effects are certainly won't be a good look.

          I suppose I might be too naive, but I find it hard to imagine Trump will see any long term bump from this given that the early and current stages were definitely mishandled, and the severity of it.

          3 votes
      2. [2]
        Grawlix
        Link Parent
        I feel the same way, but a part of me thinks, if failing to deliver on empty promises would hurt Trump, his approval numbers wouldn't be holding steady at ~43% over three years into his term. :/

        I feel the same way, but a part of me thinks, if failing to deliver on empty promises would hurt Trump, his approval numbers wouldn't be holding steady at ~43% over three years into his term. :/

        2 votes
        1. Kuromantis
          Link Parent
          Optimistically you could say it's because none of the promises he didn't keep actually matter to his fans, since most conservatives are concerned either with letting big business prevail and their...

          Optimistically you could say it's because none of the promises he didn't keep actually matter to his fans, since most conservatives are concerned either with letting big business prevail and their indexes to keep going up/keeping labor standards low to compensate for the sake of small businesses who otherwise wouldn't exist due to a lack of antitrust action or to keep conservative practices like religion and 'heteronormativity' (euphemism warning) so if the dow/S&P 500 machine really does go bust and that translates to serious layoffs then some conservatives might reconsider.

          3 votes
    2. [5]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      That’s only logical. The likelihood of dying from coronavirus is a fraction of 2% of the population. It’s too abstract for most people. The impact on the economy is basically guaranteed.

      70 percent of Americans view the coronavirus outbreak as a major threat to the U.S. economy, while only 27 percent view it as a major threat to their personal health.

      That’s only logical. The likelihood of dying from coronavirus is a fraction of 2% of the population. It’s too abstract for most people. The impact on the economy is basically guaranteed.

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        Diet_Coke
        Link Parent
        It's still crazy, young people have a 20% chance of needing hospitalization which is still serious. Then when you recover you might lose 20-30% lung capacity. That would be life changing. Needless...

        It's still crazy, young people have a 20% chance of needing hospitalization which is still serious. Then when you recover you might lose 20-30% lung capacity. That would be life changing. Needless to say I've been washing my hands a lot lately.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          They absolutely do not. This is an artifact of extremely reduced testing. Estimates place the need of hospitalization among symptomatic patients (note: currently it's estimated 80% of patients are...

          young people have a 20% chance of needing hospitalization

          They absolutely do not. This is an artifact of extremely reduced testing. Estimates place the need of hospitalization among symptomatic patients (note: currently it's estimated 80% of patients are asymptomatic or reduced symptomatic... good numbers on this are hard to come by) at anywhere from 0.1% to 3.2% depending on age bracket for individuals under the age of 40.

          9 votes
          1. Diet_Coke
            Link Parent
            That's my fault, I heard it on NPR and got sloppy with the wording. Thank you for the extra info. However according to the CDC 20% of hospitalized patients are under 40

            That's my fault, I heard it on NPR and got sloppy with the wording. Thank you for the extra info.

            However according to the CDC 20% of hospitalized patients are under 40

            7 votes
        2. mrbig
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          There’s obviously enough reason for prevention, especially when prevention is trivial. But it is also logical for concern to be proportional to likelihood. As usual, the phrasing of the questions...

          There’s obviously enough reason for prevention, especially when prevention is trivial.

          But it is also logical for concern to be proportional to likelihood.

          As usual, the phrasing of the questions is less than ideal.