As the coronavirus rages across the country, it’s wreaking havoc with the everyday healthcare needs of the American people.
For the third consecutive week, The Mighty checked in with its audience, the largest healthcare community in the world, to measure the mood. We ran a survey from March 23 to March 24, and 13,139 members of our community spent 10 minutes expressing their fears, needs and hopes.
Once again, our community grew ever more concerned, with 68% saying they are more worried than last week. Those who listed fear as a top emotion rose to 49% from 35% in the last two weeks. Interestingly, as the American workplace came to a near standstill in most regions of the nation, people who listed the economy as one of their top three concerns fell to 27% from 38%. And 53% of people who expressed optimism as one of their top three emotions live in a suburban area.
Healthcare concerns outside contracting the virus itself are perhaps creating the most anxiety. Nearly three-quarters of respondents to The Mighty survey said their healthcare had been impacted in some way:
35% have gone without doctor’s appointments (compared to 11% last week).
23% have gone without needed medications, treatments, or therapy.
11% said their condition has worsened.
Here’s what some of our members said.
“Everything is limited. I’ve been told to avoid my doctors office, because they do not want me to catch the virus. It’s stressful. I’m afraid this will impact my ability to get my pain medication, which requires regular visits with my doctor. Without access to chiropractic or massage therapy at this time, I fear I’ll need the medication more often.”
“I can no longer get my ketamine infusions. I can’t imagine what it would be like to stop all chemotherapy for someone.”
Many expressed the need for healthcare access to rely less on in-person reaction:
38% would like better access to telehealth services.
31% would like a delivery option from pharmacies.
Said one Mighty member:
“I have had to avoid much needed therapy sessions due to the Coronavirus. I also have been in excruciating pain and extreme illness because of my preexisting condition and have had to stay out of the doctor’s office. It has been miserable, I wish it was more accessible.”
Nearly the entirety of The Mighty community is practicing social distancing in some form, relying on social media for human “contact” — 99.5% have put into effect social distancing in their lives and 65% say they used social media more for support and to stay connected with friends and family.
As one member put it:
“I have been practicing, calling it physical distancing instead of social distancing. My friends and I have been more social than ever before.”
The Mighty exists to connect us in our health journeys. Some of us live with rare conditions. Many deal with the everyday challenges of chronic illness. Others are simply trying to remain healthy and care for others.
The coronavirus is unique in that it impacts all of us, whether we’re at risk or not. We will continue to survey our members over the next weeks and months to measure their mood, needs and the broad ramifications of this deadly virus.
For more information from The Mighty, check out our coronavirus topic page, where you can find new stories and daily thoughts and comments from our members.
10-minute survey around awareness, perceptions, and experience with the coronavirus (COVID-19)
Total of 13,139 global respondents
Fielded from March 23, 2020 – March 24, 2020
Correction: A previous version of this article reported that 79% of respondents said fear was one of the top emotions they’re experiencing. That number is actually 49%.
Need resources? Here are related articles about the coronavirus (COVID-19):
What Is COVID-19?
COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is a new-in-humans coronavirus that causes respiratory infection. The virus’s most common symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and in severe cases, difficulty breathing and pneumonia. Other symptoms may include a loss of smell and taste or digestive issues. The coronavirus is highly contagious and is believed to spread to at least two people for every one person infected. Because it can take days for symptoms to appear, people can spread COVID-19 before they know they’re contagious.