A few days ago, we completed a survey on 2,135 adults across the United States to get their perspectives on the Covid-19/coronavirus crisis. One of the key trends that we noticed was the lack of awareness or concern from younger generations. This trend has been highlighted recently by the media with video clips of spring breakers at the beach, people in parks, and other gatherings of young people. Our data mirrors those videos and images.
When explicitly asked about changes they have made to their behavior since the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, adults ages 18-34 years old have made significantly fewer changes to their behavior when compared to older generations.
Much of this might be attributed to the lack of knowledge about the virus or the belief that it will not impact them. When asked about how familiar they are with the symptoms of the illness, 18-34-year-olds had minimal knowledge compared to older cohorts. In addition, 60% felt they were not at risk and less than half (48%) were concerned about spreading the disease. What’s more eye-opening is 13% of this age group stated they feel like this crisis is just media hype and haven’t changed their behavior at all.
One thing to keep in mind is this age group obtains most of its information from social media and friends. When asked how they learn about the latest on Covid-19, 61% are informed through social media channels (the top source of information). Other cohorts rely more on television and online news sources. These sources have traditionally been more reliable for accurate information.
This is a point in time study and reflects the behavior and opinions at that time. Hopefully, as time goes on, more of this age group will get the message and adopt more preventative measures.