Public health officials have urged people to do their part to slow the spread of the virus before hospitals and other health facilities are overwhelmed. Schools and sporting events have been canceled, and restaurants and Las Vegas casinos closed. President Donald Trump’s administration said Monday that people should avoid social gatherings with groups of more than 10 people.
But of those who had travel plans in the next few months, a minority — 22% of those who had domestic travel plans and 41% of those with international travel plans — say they’ve canceled them. About another 3 in 10 of each group say they’ve considered canceling, while the rest are still planning to travel.
On Saturday, Trump expanded European travel restrictions due to the global pandemic, telling Americans, “If you don’t have to travel, I wouldn’t do it.” The CDC has advised that travelers are more likely to get infected if they go to a destination where the virus is spreading and in crowded settings such as airports.
The poll was conducted March 12-16, when information about the virus was changing rapidly, as was the Trump administration’s reaction to it. Trump declared the pandemic a national emergency on March 13, making up to $50 billion available for local and state governments to respond to the crisis, and announced a range of executive actions aimed at expanding testing for the virus. The administration also started work on a $1 trillion aid and stimulus plan.
Richards said she’s hopeful the numbers of Americans worried about the coronavirus would be higher in a poll conducted entirely after Trump declared the national emergency. Still, she said she’s been troubled by people who don’t seem to be taking the warnings seriously, including those she’s seen in images of crowded Florida beaches.
For most people, COVID-19 causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. It can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, for some people, especially older adults and those with existing health problems. Most people recover — those with mild illness in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks, according to the World Health Organization.