MAi Research Finds Many Are Worried and Anxious But Hopeful as We Move Into a COVID-19 Easter Weekend

Consumers’ Emotional Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

MAi Research Finds Many Are Worried and Anxious But Hopeful as We Move Into a COVID-19 Easter Weekend
Charleston, SC, April 11, 2020 --( MAI’s continuing exploration of consumers’ behaviors and attitudes during the current COVID-19 outbreak has led us to identify the emotional impact the current situation is having on the public.

Worried & Anxious: A sense of anxiety is by far the dominant emotional theme and focuses primarily on:

Health concerns both for their own health and that of their families - particularly older family members.

Economic anxiety driven by job insecurity - which in turn involves potential loss of healthcare coverage.

Additionally, widespread and unanchored uncertainty about what the future will bring is a factor for many, encompassing a sense of helplessness and lack of control. Unsurprisingly, these strong negative emotions are also fueling high levels of stress for many.

Bored & Isolated: The strict social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders in place across much of the US are also taking a toll, driving strong feelings of boredom, isolation and loneliness. “Our analysis has indicated that ‘bored’ is the third strongest term mentioned by respondents, just behind worried and anxious, which suggests a national case of ‘cabin fever’ that is only likely to grow as precautionary measures continue through the coming weeks,” said Rob Pascale, President MAi and Chief Research Officer, Pathfinder Analytics.

Frustrated: Frustration, led by a feeling of loss of control, is also an emerging theme. Even things as routine as exercise or shopping or getting a haircut have become a source of frustration for many. These feelings of frustration are also closely linked to anger, which is mostly directed at:

· Other people who aren’t being cautious enough, or are selfishly buying and hoarding "essential" supplies.

· Public leaders who are seen as not doing enough to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak.

Some Good News:

Calm & Relaxed: While social distancing and staying at home gives rise to feelings of boredom and isolation for some, others are handling the situation with a sense of equanimity, remaining calm and relaxed despite everything going on around them. (MAi Research will be investigating the role that demographic, regional, and other differences may play in these diverse attitudes in the coming days.)

Hopeful: Despite everything, some are holding onto a sense of cautious optimism hope about the future. The data suggests that roughly 1 in 5 respondents expressed a hopeful sentiment, though it was often couched alongside one or more of the dominant negative emotions.

These unique times create a major opportunity to bond with customers. MAi Research can’t solve the problem for them, but they can demonstrate that they are in this with them. Using messaging that’s emotionally in sync shows that MAi Research cares about customers, our communities, and our world.

MAi Research will be continuing to track consumer sentiment around these and other emerging issues over the coming weeks.

For more information about this topic, please contact Robert Clark by calling (908)303-9832, or e-mail Bob at

MAi Research provides custom market research and insights. Pathfinder Analytics is a wholly owned division of MAi Research. The company is based in Charleston, South Carolina.

Contact: Robert Clark
Telephone: 908-303-9832
MAi Research
Robert Clark