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Your Answers to Our COVID-19 Poll

We did a poll concerning the COVID-19 pandemic to give you an opportunity to tell us how this worldwide virus has impacted you. Your answers revealed some interesting information on how older Americans are weathering this unprecedented health emergency.

The first question was:

Concerning the impact of COVID-19 on your physical health – check all that apply.

Below are the choices and the percentage each choice was selected:

  • Has it been more difficult to get your medicine? 27.1%
  • Is it harder to see a doctor? 39.6%
  • Have you had trouble receiving home health? 8.3%
  • Other 25%

As you can see the response selected more often was the difficulty in seeing your doctor. You can understand that the fear of going out to a doctor’s appointment, especially for non-emergency issues, kept many people from venturing out to the doctor’s office. I wonder how many cancer screenings, colonoscopies, blood tests, physicals, etc. were missed and what price seniors will pay for this inability to get both preventative care as well as needed periodic care for existing conditions. I’m afraid that the effects of the pandemic on the health of seniors will be long term and costly.

The second most selected choice was difficulty in getting medicine. One of the fears providers had, with the strict quarantining recommendations, especially for older people, was – it would hinder seniors from getting their prescription medications. It was also worrisome that the supply chain for medications would be interrupted causing shortages. The quick response to expand the number of pills per prescription, the reduction or elimination of out-of-pocket costs and the ingenuity in maintaining adequate supplies all helped to ensure we were able to continue to get our needed prescriptions.

The third most selected choice was “other”. This pandemic affected each of us in a very personal way. We all are different and it affected us in different ways but there is no doubt it is affecting us all significantly.

Only 8.3% said it was difficult getting home health care. I hope this continues to be the case.

The second question was:

Concerning the impact of COVID-19 on your emotional health – What worries you the most?

Below are the choices and the percentage each choice was selected:

Becoming sick with COVID-19 21.6%

Your family members becoming ill with COVID-19 27%

Loss of retirement 5.4%

Loneliness 5.4%

Family members losing employment 18.9%

Access to healthcare 13.5%

Other 8.1%

The top two choices were fear of you or your family getting sick with the virus. As it seems is always the case we had more fear that one of our family members would get the virus rather than ourselves. That was also the case with worrying about our retirement or our family’s employment. We were much more worried about our family losing employment than we were about losing our retirement. It is interesting that only 5.4% chose loneliness as a problem. I think we might be seeing the reduction in restrictions as a light at the end of the tunnel and seeing hope that we can visit our families. It might also be that technology has helped. There our substantially more older Americans that know how to use Zoom than before the pandemic.

The third question was:

Who do you turn to for reliable COVID-19 information?

Below are the choices and the percentage each choice was selected:

TV news 24.3%

The daily Coronavirus Task Force briefings 27%

Internet 21.6%

Radio 2.7%

Newspaper 2.7%

Other 21.6%

The daily Coronavirus Task Force briefings was the top choice. I know I appreciated hearing Dr. Fauci’s insights and developed a trust for his opinions. We still go to the TV for our news and the daily briefing, the TV is our window on the world. The internet is moving up the ranks and the distinction between the “TV” and the “internet” is blurring. We are nearing the world where our internet is the conduit to news, radio, newspaper and any other information we seek. I do wonder where the 21.6% who selected other got their information? I suspect it is friends or family who visit with us and talk about the pandemic.

The fourth question asked:

In their response to COVID-19, do you think healthcare industries (hospitals, drug and device manufacturers, insurers) have:

The choices and the percentage selected are:

Performed better than expected 54.1%

Performed as expected 27%

Performed worse than expected 18.9%

It might have been a little difficult to evaluate the healthcare industries’ performance given none of us had ever experienced a pandemic like this. Given that, over half of us said they did better than expected and only 19% said they did worse than expected. I think three things impressed us:

  • the bravery of the healthcare workers as they exposed themselves to danger as they cared for us
  • the quick reaction of our insurance providers to cut our out-of-pocket expenses so that cost did not hinder our access to care and medicines (I just a received a card from my Medicare Advantage insurer that waived all out-of-pocket costs for primary care visits, outpatient behavioral health visits and telehealth visits)
  • The willingness of pharmaceutical manufacturers to band together and spend millions of dollars to look for medicines that will reduce the severity of the COVID-19 and to produce an effective vaccine.

Sometimes adversity brings out the best in us.

The final question asked:

In their response to COVID-19, do you think the federal government (Congress and the Administration) has:

The choices and the percentage selected are:

Performed better than expected 18.9%

Performed as expected 18.9%

Performed worse than expected 62.2%

It seems we don’t think our government responded very well to this pandemic.  We did have other countries’ response that we could use as we compared the effectiveness of our country’s response. There is still a lot we don’t know about what actually happened. Some countries that started out with lower infections were later inundated. State governors responded very differently and the resulting number of COVID-19 infections varied widely. As time goes on we’ll know more about what methods worked and what didn’t. We’ll also know what information our government had and when they had it and how they responded to it. But right now, there is no doubt that we aren’t happy with the government’s response.

We’re glad you chose to speak up and participate in our poll. We will continue to do surveys and polls to give you a chance to speak out. In the meantime, stay safe and have joy.

Thair



13 Comments On “Your Answers to Our COVID-19 Poll

  1. Francis Joy

    Most concern is about threats by President Trump, to cut Social Security/Medicare, after Nov. Very scary!

    1. Thair Phillips

      Francis – Cutting these basic programs is not the answer. We can always make them more efficient but they are the basis of a promise our government made to us and shouldn’t be cut.

  2. Karen Boeckman

    I don’t really have a problem with the President and Congress on their response. They were as surprised as the rest of the world regarding this pandemic. Luckily, President Trump did close our borders even those in the administration and congress told him not to do it. That alone prevented countless deaths. However, when we got down to the states, everything changed. Governors and mayors rule comes before the national government. We see that many governors did things their own way. Why New York chose to put sick patients in nursing homes will always be questioned since he did have other places to put them available. Sadly, the early decisions in New York and New Jersey greatly added to the death toll.

    So, when you say federal government I think they did a pretty good job especially with the ventilators and using private industry to ramp up production of supplies. However, the next time we are exposed to a new virus, I hope the CDC and WHO (who takes the majority of the blame here) are better prepared. It seems inevitable that it will happen again. Keeping PPE, respirators, etc. in stock is critical. Manufacturing of our drugs and supplies out of China is critical.

    1. Thair Phillips

      Karen – You make some very good points. It will take months and more likely years to look back and see where mistakes were made. What we can do is be more prepared and learn from the mistakes.

      Best, Thair

  3. […] what your fellow seniors thought, and to read the responses to other questions in the poll, click h... https://www.ageinfonet.com/seniors-speak-out
  4. Maureen Kralik

    I do not blame the federal government as much as the state government. They were dealing with a new virus and will take some time to learn about this new virus. How ever the state was horrible. Our Michigan Gov. even threatened us if we did not agree with her. She opened area’s so that she could give her daughter a party. She went back to the 1945 bill that gave her more power instead of the 1975 bill that took away some of her power away without permission of the state house or senate. Abortions were allowed to operate but churches were not.

    1. Thair Phillips

      Maureen – You make some very good points. It will take months and more likely years to look back and see where mistakes were made. What we can do is be more prepared and learn from the mistakes.

      Best, Thair

  5. Dasie

    Staying inside have been difficult not going out staying in side like being in prison without people company.grandbabbies. now in than but the ideal of going to empty stores is frightening soon I be 70. Never seen nothing like this

    1. Thair Phillips

      Dasie – These are crazy times, all we can do is keep ourselves safe and stay positive about our countries ability to weather this storm and learn from it.

      Best, Thair

  6. Henry Gallagher

    I have had a hard time getting to the Dr,I have had a hard time getting food. Unless I go out with my daughters then they can bring the kids.i would stay in the car with the kids other than that I stay athome wondering if and when I will get it.I am all the time worried about getting the virus i have COPD.

    1. Thair Phillips

      Henry – You are absolutely doing the right thing to stay sequestered as much as possible. You are in a vulnerable group and need to take extra care. Don’t put off needed trips to the doctor, they are important. I know it’s tough but if you can cut down the trips with your daughters and their kids it will offer you even more protection. Good luck.

      Best, Thair

  7. Annie Summer

    Very informative.

    1. Thair Phillips

      Thanks.

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