Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions April 22-23, 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.

Reality of Longer Economic Impact

Building on a large increase last week, this week the number of Americans who believe the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak will last longer than one year has ticked up again.

More Focus on Balancing Economic Concerns

For the first time, the number of Americans saying we need to balance economic concerns with public health is higher than the number believing public health should be our sole focus right now.

Questioning if we are Ready to Reopen

For the first time, we measured the number of Americans who believe stay-at home and similar government orders should be relaxed. Majority of Americans are not ready to reopen. Two-in-five Americans believe it is time to relax orders keeping businesses closed and Americans at home.

  • These figures are higher among those who have been laid off (56%)
  • Republicans (52%), and those in urban locations (46%)

Decisions on this timing of “re-opening” is shifting Americans away from the solidarity we have seen in past weeks. The debate marked a significant shift in people seeing division as a result of the pandemic, the first such movement yet.

Partisan and life stage realities are driving very different perspectives on what we should do next to reach the balance needed.

Negative Emotions are Declining

Most negative emotions dipped this week.

Impact on Relationships

But for the first time we saw an increase (+5 pts) in the number of Americans who are expecting a negative impact from COVID-19 on their family relationships (spouse and children).

Impact on Human Values

In a new tracking measure, we see Freedom, Security, Peace of Mind, Social Order, Enjoyment, Happiness and Well Being are the values most negatively impacted for Americans in this pandemic. On a positive note, we see the value of Concern for Others improving.

  • Boomers are more likely to have seen negative impacts on these dimensions.
  • There are minimal differences by political party.

Changing Routines

Nearly three quarters (71%) of Americans are expecting permanent changes in some of their routines when this is over. These are most likely to happen in eating, entertainment, downtime, exercise, and connections.

Eroding Trust

State governments enjoyed two weeks of built trust. However, as all are contemplating what to do next, we measured a big drop in trust – both state and local government trust levels are the lowest measured. Trust in the federal government dropped yet again to where only a little more than 1 in 4 say they trust what they hear from DC.

The scientific and medical communities have taken the greatest hit in recent weeks – we’ve seen a 10-point drop in the trust for the CDC and a 17-point drop for the WHO, all in just one month.

Is Corporate America the Unifier?

Corporate America received higher marks in its response this past week – will the private sector be the leader to help us unify? This could be a reality as we see business leaders inform and even make their own best decisions about re-opening, irrespective of government action.


Data Source: Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions 4/22-23/2020 via an online survey. Access the full report here: Download PDF.  

Sample: n=1,000 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.