HealthDay News – Serious concerns are associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and many individuals are preparing by washing hands and self-isolating, according to a research letter published online April 7 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Lorene M. Nelson, PhD, from Stanford University in California, and colleagues questioned participants on 3 social media platforms to assess concerns about COVID-19, symptoms, and individual actions in response to the pandemic. A total of 9009 surveys were completed from March 14 to 16, 2020.

The researchers found that 67.3% of 8950 respondents reported being very or extremely concerned about COVID-19, with concern varying by age. Of these respondents, 95.7% eported making lifestyle changes in response to COVID-19, most commonly more hand washing, avoiding social gatherings, and stockpiling food and supplies (93.1, 89.0, and 74.7%, respectively). In addition, 19.2 and 49.8% reported self-isolating all of the time and self-isolating most of the time, only leaving to buy food and essentials, respectively. The main concerns were getting sick due to COVID-19 and not being able to receive medical care (70.1 and 46.3%, respectively). Difficulties that were reported most commonly included obtaining hand sanitizer, food, and childcare. Of 6689 respondents, 14.7 and 1.5% reported reduced wages or work hours and having lost their jobs because of the crisis, respectively.

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“There was variation in the levels of concern about COVID-19 in different age groups, and the most common difficulties were getting hand sanitizer or food, arranging childcare, and lost wages or reduced working hours,” the authors write.

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