Coronavirus: How is America Feeling? Part 9

This week, we looked at the three “waves” of feelings we’ve noted in our data (anxiety, isolation, and grief)… and something inspiring from the kids under age 13.

I hope this note finds you feeling strong.

Our overall volume has plateaued, reaching what we call a “new normal,” ~20% higher than pre-COVID. But our capacity has grown nearly 2x because our Crisis Counselors are showing up and new ones have been added! And we’re seeing record KPIs: quality ratings of 90% and 97% of texters helped in under 5 minutes. We got you, America.

So, send us your employees, family, friends, followers. Help promote the service. We can handle more volume. We’re ready!

Wave 1: Anxiety

Anxiety about the coronavirus outbreak has plateaued, but remains high, at ~85% of texters. Anxiety is around 10 points higher than it was at the start of nationwide quarantines in mid-March.

Graph of rate of anxiety during the COVID pandemic

Wave 2: Crises Associated with Quarantines

Conversations mentioning domestic violence, sexual abuse, and substance use continue to increase.

Line graph showing increase in conversations about substance use during the COVID pandemic

Line graph of increase in conversations about sexual abuse during COVID

Line graph of domestic violence rise during COVID

Wave 3: Job Loss, Grief, Racism

(a) Job Loss
  • Two weeks ago, 27% of conversations mentioned a word associated with job loss (job, lost, income); in the last week: 29%. And now, 32%.
  • The same as last week, 62% of texters say they or someone in their household has either been laid off or lost a job as a result of coronavirus.

  • Fear of job loss is pervasive.

    • Two weeks ago, 73% of texters said they worry to some degree about someone in their household losing a job. This week, it’s 76%.

    • Two weeks ago, 76% of texters said they worry to some degree about themselves or their household being able to pay bills on time. This week, 80%.

Bar graph showing increase in conversations about job loss

(b) Grief

The percentage of texters mentioning they’ve experienced the recent loss of a loved one continues to increase, from 9% in mid-April to 14% now (up two points from last week).

(c) Racism / Discrimination

The percentage of texters mentioning they’ve recently experienced racism and/or discrimination continues to increase, from 6.5% in mid-April to 10% now, and up from 9% last week.

  • This continues to disproportionately affect texters who identify as Asian American, with nearly 1 in 3 (31%) mentioning they’ve recently experienced racism and/or discrimination.

And note on resilience: to cope, young people in crisis are helping loved ones.

A trend for our youngest texters, 13 and under: 42% mention “helping friends and family (e.g., picking up groceries, cleaning, watching other kids, etc)” as something they are doing to stay hopeful and resilient in the last week. That’s 4 points higher than the average for all texters (38%). One phrase trending for this group is “helping friends.”

In a crisis?

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