Generational Attitudes Toward The Coronavirus

3/16/2020

 

Generational segmentation is always a key factor in understanding the impact of huge news stories. Younger people believe they are going to live forever and survive whatever comes, while older folks believe the world is coming to an end with every new fashion change or musical upheaval.

The coronavirus pandemic accentuated some generational attitudes early on, when there was uncertainty among the population that it was indeed a serious issue. Initially, Millennials were blamed for continuing their social lives, while senior citizens were put to panic because the virus was more fatal for older people.

By mid-March, the impact of the virus was understood by almost everyone, and the entire country hunkered down to weather the storm by staying indoors and away from others as much as possible.

But, in early March, when the coronavirus started claiming American lives, Spectrem Group conducted an immediate survey of investors to determine how they felt about the possible long-term effects of the coronavirus. The impact will be felt by American commerce and education for months and perhaps years, although it is nearly impossible to know for sure the depth of that impact as the pandemic is active and still growing in mid-March.

From March 4-9, investors were asked to place on a 0-to-100 scale their belief that the coronavirus will become rampant within the U.S., resulting in numerous deaths. The average response was 51.57, which is as good an indication as any that even as late of March 9, there was confusion as to whether the pandemic would cause irrevocable harm to many American families.

But when the results were segmented, an interesting pattern was shown. The younger the investor, the more they felt as if the virus was going to be impactful, and Millennials were well above the curve in their level of concern. Millennials rated their belief in the impact of the virus at 59.47, one of the highest rating by segment. Compare that to the reaction of Baby Boomers, who put their belief at 50.30, a middle-of-the-road level of concern.

There was also a huge difference based on the political affiliation of investors. Republican investors, perhaps spurred by conservative media reports that the virus panic was overblown, rated their belief in the danger of the virus at 42.03, compared to the Democratic response level of 60.39. Investors who claim to be Independent voters were just above the midpoint at 53.55.

 

 

©2020 Spectrem Group

 

 

Keywords:coronavirus, investors, Spectrem, Corona crash,