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The Mighty Survey: Coronavirus Raises New Fears for Our Children

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“I really want to be with my (adult) children, hug them and help them. I feel like I’m cheating this stay-at-home order when I see them, and I can’t help them at all. Each time, I worry that it’s the last.” — A Mighty Member

The coronavirus is laying bare our collective emotions as more Americans practice social distancing and sink deeper into isolation to protect their families and friends from the spreading pandemic.

For the fourth consecutive week, The Mighty checked in with its audience, the largest healthcare community in the world, to measure the mood. We ran a survey from March 30 to April 1, and 10,621 members of our community spent 10 minutes expressing their fears, needs and hopes.

Our children have now catapulted to one of our top concerns.

From the onset of COVID-19, the concern was for the elderly. Now, data shows everyone is vulnerable. In our first survey three weeks ago, 22% of respondents said concern for their children was one of their top 3 concerns. That concern rose to 31% in this survey. Not surprisingly, 44% of respondents who care for children with autoimmune conditions said it is now one of their top three concerns.

As Mighty members said:

  • “My adult son on the autism spectrum who was living in a group home is now living with me for the duration of the pandemic because I did not trust that the agency could meet his dietary and mental health needs.”
  • “I am fearful to leave my house and despite myself having been following social distancing I don’t know who else has been doing the same or hasn’t been so it’s very hard for me to even invite somebody over without worrying.”

Given rising worry about children, the economy has slipped as one of the most concerning aspects of the coronavirus, even as unemployment has surged and the stock market gyrates wildly. Only 19% of Mighty members said the economy was one of their top three concerns, down from 27% last week. Concerns over income also fell to 19% from 23%.

Strains continue to increase over daily healthcare needs. Here’s what respondents told us:

  • 79% have missed or canceled regularly scheduled appointments (up from 68% last week)
  • 24% are having trouble accessing necessary medications (up from 14% last week)
  • 15% say their condition has worsened

Such issues make telehealth even more more important:

  • 45% have been offered telehealth visits (up from 36% last week)
  • 26% have used telehealth and 9% have a future appointment
  • 22% are not sure if telehealth is available to them

And 48% have experienced barriers or challenges to telehealth.

  • 13% said it is not offered by the provider
  • 12% don’t know how to access it
  • 7% are concerned about the cost
  • 7% are concerned about privacy

Relationships are being impacted, too. Thirty-five percent of respondents said their relationships had become more strained overall, while 31% said their relationships had become stronger overall.

  • “I work at a busy grocery store, so social distancing is impossible. So I have decided to have zero contact with my friends and family other than by phone. I miss them terribly!”
  • “My husband has to work because his boss refuses to close despite being non-essential. Everyday my husband risks his health for a non-essential job. This has put tremendous strain on our relationship because he cannot help me with our newborn baby because we are isolated in a separate area of the house to avoid contamination.”

The Mighty exists to connect us in our health journeys. Some of us live with rare conditions. Many deal with the everyday challenges of chronic illness. Others are simply trying to remain healthy and care for others.

The coronavirus is unique in that it impacts all of us, whether we’re at risk or not. We will continue to survey our members over the next weeks and months to measure their mood, needs and the broad ramifications of this deadly virus.

For more information from The Mighty, check out our coronavirus topic page, where you can find new stories and daily thoughts and comments from our members.


  • 10-minute survey around awareness, perceptions, and experience with the coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Total of 10,621 global respondents
  • Fielded from March 31, 2020 – April 1, 2020

Need resources? Here are related articles about the coronavirus (COVID-19):

What Is COVID-19?

COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is a new-in-humans coronavirus that causes respiratory infection. The virus’s most common symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and in severe cases, difficulty breathing and pneumonia. Other symptoms may include a loss of smell and taste or digestive issues. The coronavirus is highly contagious and is believed to spread to at least two people for every one person infected. Because it can take days for symptoms to appear, people can spread COVID-19 before they know they’re contagious.

Getty image by Kubkoo.

Originally published: April 2, 2020
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