Americans Express More Hope As COVID-19 Crisis Drags On

A sense of hopefulness seems to be growing — and that could mean positive things for the nation’s mental health during the COVID-19 crisis, according to research conducted by the Ad Council.

The proportion of people worried about top concerns decreased significantly from last week to this week, including worries over the economy (69% vs. 65%), those not taking COVID-19 seriously (66% vs. 60%), the health of friends and family members (53% vs. 46%) and their own health (34% vs. 29%).

Just over half of Americans say they felt grateful in the past week (52% ), consistent with the prior week. They express more gratitude for those closest to them, particularly the health & well-being of their family, friends, loved ones and/or co-workers (46%) and their own health (42%). 



Other sentiments surveyed: feeling grateful about being able to quarantine/socially distance with minimal struggles (28%); healthcare workers & other essential workers (25%) as well as their faith/religious/spiritual practice and/or community (24%). 

However, there was a small but significant increase in the number of people who know someone who has the virus, rising from 24% to 28% in one week.

The biggest take away for brands and advertisers communicating about COVID-19 messaging is to ensure that their strategy is relevant and actionable to those populations who are struggling the most: parents, young people and those in the lower economic bracket.

Parents express much more worry than the general population, and need more help across the board. To that end, households with children are more likely to be financially impacted by COVID-19 (87% of families impacted vs 77% non-family households). Parents are also more significantly more worried about their own health, about losing their job and increased crime than those without children. 

Younger people — both 18-34 and 34-44 — express having much more financial concerns than older populations (45-64 and 65+) and more worry about their futures. These younger demographics also are exhibiting significantly more negative emotions, including feeling isolated and depressed than their older counterparts.

Those earning under $50,000 per year, perhaps unsurprisingly, say they are more tired, lonely and depressed. Their biggest concerns right now are getting protective equipment, getting financial assistance due to a loss of income, affording household bills, and general peace of mind.

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