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From work to home, people say the pandemic will have long-lasting ‘ripple effects’: survey

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Phoenix — The majority of U.S. adults believe the COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on their everyday lives going forward – from how and where they work to the way they parent, results of a recent survey show.

On behalf of the University of Phoenix, the Harris Poll from May 12-14 conducted an online survey of nearly 2,100 U.S. adults to find out about their outlook on a post-pandemic world. Results show that 86% of respondents have concerns about the long-term effect of the public health crisis, and just as many expect to remain cautious even as restrictions are lifted. Further, 3 out of 4 said the pandemic has made them “shift their priorities.”

Among employed respondents, more than 2 out of 5 said the pandemic has led them to reevaluate their current job. More than half said they would look for a job that allowed them to work remotely, and 34% would look for a position that is less public facing.

More than 40% of unemployed respondents said they too would look for an organization that allows them to work remotely.

Even after restrictions begin to ease, more than 3 out of 5 respondents expect to regularly keep at least 6 feet of space between themselves and others while in public settings. Just as many said they would clean and/or disinfect items they touch “at least most of the time.” Half said they will continue to wear a mask in public.

Some said they’d never participate in activities such as:

  • Using public transportation (45%)
  • Hosting events at home (25%)
  • Eating at a “sit-down” restaurant (10%)

Respondents who are parents said they won’t feel comfortable allowing their children to:

  • Attend large gatherings (66%)
  • Visit theme parks, zoos, malls, etc. (58%)
  • Play on a playground (53%)
  • Attend school in person or go to day care (53%)
  • Play sports (45%)

“The coronavirus pandemic has been one of the single most disruptive occurrences in the last decade and we could see ripple effects in how we interact, live our lives and view society for years to come – if not indefinitely,” Dean Aslinia, counseling program chair at the university, said in a press release. “A shift in behaviors is almost always expected when people endure a substantial change in lifestyle like we experienced, but the survey findings illustrate that lives were impacted in unparalleled ways.”

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