US COVID-19 Crisis = Struggles with Healthcare, Housing, Food

The first results from the new U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey released today show that many households have experienced loss in employment income, are concerned about food security, and have deferred decisions to access health care.

The data provide some dreary insights on employment status, spending, food security, housing, education disruptions, and health. In this initial release, the Household Pulse Survey Interactive Tool provides data for select indicators at national and state levels. National data also are available in table format. Census subsequent weekly releases through late July and will include additional estimates for states and the 15 largest metropolitan statistical areas.

The results might be skewed positive to current Republican Wishful thinking, rather than stark reality since the Trump Administration perverted the Bureau as part of a failed ploy on  Republican Repression of Voters by dictating unprecedented questions on the Census designed to discourage less affluent people from participating.

The survey claims it is intended “to provide crucial weekly data to help understand the experiences of American households during the COVID-19 pandemic.” For the April 23-May 5 period, Census sent invitations to 1,867,126 households and a mere 74,413 responded (63,003 complete interviews and 11,410 partial interviews). Census expressed no views on why people did not respond. No did it address the perhaps lingering effects of the proposed  and well publicized CENSUS questions that were ordered removed by a Federal Court.

Among the Findings  

Overall, how have adults in the U.S. fared with respect to employment income during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Among the population of adults 18 and over, 47% either lost employment income or another adult in their household had lost employment income since March 13. Thirty-nine percent of adults expected that they or someone in their household would lose employment income over the next four weeks.

Getting enough to eat is an important measure of well-being, what is the current level of food sufficiency?

About 10% of adults reported that they did not get enough of the food they needed some of the time or often. Another 32% report getting enough, but not the kinds of food they needed.

On average, households spent $196 a week to buy food at supermarkets, grocery stores, online, and other places to be prepared and eaten at home.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stressful and unprecedented period, how has it affected mental well-being?

Adults who responded reported feeling anxious or nervous more than half the days last week or nearly every day 29.7% of the time.

They reported not being able to stop or control worrying more than half the days last week or nearly every day 22.8% of the time.

For measures related to depression, 18.6% of adults report feeling down more than half the days or nearly every day last week, and 21.4% reported having little interest or pleasure in doing things more than half the days or nearly every day last week.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also significantly taxed the health system, has that impacted the household population in general?

Yes, 38.7% of adults report that over the last four weeks, they delayed getting medical care because of the corona virus pandemic.

Housing security has also been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, how much?

Being unable to pay rent or mortgage on time was reported by 10.7% of adults, while another 3.2% reported they deferred payments.

When asked about the likelihood of being able to pay next month’s rent or mortgage on time, 21.3% reported only slight or no confidence in being able to pay next month’s rent or mortgage on time. Another 2.5% reported next month’s mortgage is or will be deferred.

In the last week, how did the COVID-19 pandemic affect time spent on education?

In households with children enrolled in public or private school (K-12), adults spent 13 hours on average on teaching activities during the last seven days.

The Household Pulse Survey data are produced and released as part of the Census Bureau’s Experimental Data Product Series.

The Census Bureau worked with five other federal agencies to develop the Household Pulse Survey: Bureau of Labor StatisticsNational Center for Health StatisticsUSDA Economic Research ServiceDepartment for Housing and Urban Development, and the National Center for Education Statistics.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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1 Response to US COVID-19 Crisis = Struggles with Healthcare, Housing, Food

  1. Pew Research says:

    Last week’s report on unemployment underscored the catastrophic impact the corona virus outbreak has had on the U.S. economy. The focus in many states has now turned to reopening businesses and getting people back to work. However, most Americans – including 68% of those who have lost their jobs or taken a cut in pay due to the corona virus outbreak – are concerned that state governments will lift restrictions too quickly, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

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