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Americans Champion Social Distancing But Admit It’s Cost Them Friends

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Americans are nearly all keeping their distance from others during the ongoing coronavirus crisis, but many also acknowledge that social distancing is hurting some of their close personal relationships.

Ninety percent (90%) of American Adults say they are personally following social distancing guidelines such as standing six feet from other people outside their home and not gathering in groups, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Sixty-one percent (61%) say they wear a mask and/or gloves when they go out in public.

But the downside is that 28% say COVID-19 social distancing guidelines have negatively affected their personal relationship with a friend or family member.

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The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted April 6-7, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Likely U.S. Voters favor handing out fines in their community to those who are not following social distancing guidelines. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is the first major official to implement such a policy, ordering city police to levy fines ranging from $250 to $500 for those who violate social distancing.

Overwhelming majorities of Americans in nearly every demographic category say they are personally following social distancing guidelines.

Men and adults under 40 are more likely than women and older Americans to say social distancing has affected a close personal relationship.

The older the adult, the more likely they are to say they wear a mask and/or gloves when they go out in public. Blacks (69%) are more likely to report wearing a mask and/or gloves than whites (58%) and other minority Americans (65%).

Among adults who are following social distancing guidelines, 64% are also wearing a mask and/or gloves in public.

Americans strongly support the government’s travel bans and school closings in response to the coronavirus threat, but one-in-four said last month that panic, not reason, is driving some decisions.

By the end of March, one-third of Americans said they or someone in their close family was now unemployed thanks to the coronavirus. A whopping nine-out-of-10 were worried about the virus hitting them in the pocketbook.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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