Reality sets in as people begin to worry more about COVID-19, McCann report finds

The new report finds that belief in "unnecessary hysteria" has fallen, while general concern has grown.

Reality sets in as people begin to worry more about COVID-19, McCann report finds

Worry is on the rise, yet mistrust in media is dropping as the COVID-19 crisis carries on, according to a new report from McCann Worldgroup Truth Central. 

McCann’s first report on how COVID-19 has affected culture, released last month, found that while people were worried, many believed that the media had been creating "unnecessary hysteria". 

The firm’s second report has found that as the reality of the virus, which has now claimed 100,000 lives globally sets in, just under one-third of people believe that the media has been creating hysteria, compared with 42 percent just two weeks ago. 

And as people face the reality of COVID-19, they are facing their own fears as well, with 67 percent globally worried about the outbreak, up from 53 percent two weeks ago. 

But levels of worry and thoughts on how to deal with the pandemic differ from country to country. 

Italy, Spain and France remain highly concerned, but are leveling off as the cases of deaths and new infections begin to slow, whereas the U.K. is in full panic mode. 

In the U.S., worry is on the rise, yet most people don't want the government to put shelter-in-place rules across the nation.

Americans are a bit of an anomaly in this regard – while increasingly worried, many appear to be in denial: One in three Americans surveyed agree that the government should initiate a full lockdown of the country, compared to 58 percent of people in the U.K.

Another shift since McCann’s last report is the sharp rise in social distancing.

As people begin to take the pandemic more seriously, the number of people practicing social distancing has significantly increased, particularly in the U.K., where 84 percent are saying they’re staying away from public places vs. 32 percent two weeks ago. In Chile, the amount of people social distancing has gone up from 28 percent to 78 percent. 

Additionally, on a global scale, three in 10 people around the world believe that carrying on as normal during the pandemic is immoral. 

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