Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions April 15-16, 2020 via an online survey.

Access the full report here: Download PDF. Please contact us if you would like access to the crosstabs.

NOTE: Findings based on preliminary data.

Public Health vs. Economy

The country is nearly evenly split on whether we should continue the social distancing lockdown at all costs vs. open to address the economy.  This is how the sentiment falls out by region:

  • Mountain states, less impacted by the crisis, are much more likely to favor opening up.
  • East South Central states lean toward balancing action to help the economy.
  • The center of the country is evenly split, but leaning toward protecting public health.
  • The Northeast and West Coast are solidly in the “do all it takes to stop the virus” camp.

Hopeful Optimists and Concerned Realists are squarely on the side of taking a more balanced approach, while the Anxious Worriers are solidly in the lockdown camp.

Emotions Vary

Our three audiences based upon emotional response remain steady – largest are the Concerned Realists (half) and the Anxious Worriers (a third).  Hopeful Optimists (a fifth) cover the rest of Americans.

Regionally in the US, there is a noticeable difference in attitudes on the two coasts vs. the heartland, south, and mountain states in the country.

  • Realism is highest in the central states.
  • Optimism is highest in the mountain and southern states.
  • Anxiety is highest in the northeast and the two coasts.

Spirit of Solidarity

The American spirit of solidarity appears to be strong as most in every region see us growing closer together. The Central and Mountain states are seeing the greatest feeling of unity through the crisis.

Increased Anxiety and Mental Health Concerns

While last week seemed to be the beginning of people turning toward the early stages of recovery mode, reality seemed to settle in this week. Most emotions stayed they same, but the stress of lockdown is evident.

  • The number believing this is a real threat peaked two weeks ago, now continues to decline.
  • After a few weeks of more positive expectations, mental health concerns again spiked.
  • Anxiety is the one negative emotion that jumped 5 points this week.



Evolving Expectations

The reality check this week slowed expectations for upcoming personal travel and church services, but even more expect to eat out and socialize more in the next two weeks.

Millennials continue to be the group most likely to say they will engage in these behaviors in the next two weeks (Dine out 32%, Socialize in a group of 10+ 26%). They are also significantly more likely to be planning to work out at the gym (27% vs. 16% Total) and plan to travel for personal reasons (28% vs. 18% Total)

We tracked the biggest jump in expected spending for apparel and technology within the next two weeks.

In terms of spending, Americans did more online shopping for other goods (not food/household goods) this past week.

Trust in Government

Trust in the federal government remains at the lowest as most say what they heard from DC left them even more confused. As governors become more vocal and at the center of decisions around next steps, trust in state government has improved a bit.

Trust in Employers

In the past week trust in employers has improved. Our analysis of 5 combined waves of data shows different employee mindsets across industries:

  • Employees in tech, insurance, education, and telecom seem to be in the strongest position.
  • Those taking a heavy toll are in the weakest position: retail, government, food and beverages, restaurants, travel, and leisure.
  • Employees in auto, transport, and manufacturing are optimistic but do not have as much trust in their employer.
  • Employees in healthcare, consulting, financial services, and construction trust their employers but are more likely to be anxious and worried.

Data Source: Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions 4/15-16/2020 via an online survey. Access the full report here: Download PDF.  

Sample: n=1,016 US Adults 18+

Topics: We explored attitudes, feelings, and actions with respect to the COVID-19 crisis. This provides a quick look at the key storylines we uncovered by quickly digging into the data set.