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Salud, Dinero & Amor in the Time of COVID-19

Hispanics Cite Emotional and Financial Concerns During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Hispanics have a range of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent AARP survey. Respondents cited mental health, financial security, a coronavirus vaccine, and voting, but they also said that family connections have helped sustain them through this difficult time.

Key Findings

 A majority of Hispanics 35-plus say they or someone they know has contracted COVID-19.

  • Almost six in ten (58%) Hispanics surveyed have experienced COVID-19 or know someone who has. Ten percent have had the virus in their household, and half (51%) know someone not in their household who has had COVID-19, a substantially higher share than 36% of non-Hispanic adults surveyed. 

Hispanics are concerned about staying healthy, surviving economically, and when the pandemic will end.

  • Three-fourths of Hispanics surveyed are concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. economy and having to deal with the pandemic beyond 2020. 
  • Two-thirds (68%) are concerned about themselves or someone in their family contracting COVID-19 and nearly as many are concerned about not surviving it (64%). 
  • Nearly one in five (18%) Hispanics surveyed have lost their job or were furloughed during the pandemic, and 26% have lost income.

The pandemic has taken a toll on mental health, especially for Gen X and older Millennial Hispanics.

  • The prevalence of COVID-19 among Hispanics together with the financial shocks and uncertainty have contributed to very widespread and deep feelings of stress and worry. Large majorities report a range of negative emotions during the pandemic such as stress (79%), frustration (75%), lack of power/control (69%), anxiety (70%), fear (70%), and sadness (71%).
  • Three-fourths of Hispanics surveyed say they have had difficulty dealing with the pandemic on a personal level. 
  • Nearly every measure of self-reported emotional or mental health indicates more stress among those ages 35–49 overall. Almost one in three (31%) are "extremely concerned" about the their own mental health or the mental health of others in their families, and more than more than one in three (38%) report their mental health has worsened during the pandemic.

Family connections have been a protective factor.

  • Connection to family has been a sustaining factor during this time with 84% of Hispanic respondents feeling connected to family.  

For now, a vaccine is only a hope until we have the data and backing of experts. 

  • While a vaccine is expected to be available in the future, only a moderate share of Hispanics surveyed say they are likely to be vaccinated: 29% are “very likely,” and another 17% are “somewhat likely.” One-fourth each are unlikely (26%) or unsure (28%).
  • The top three affecting the decision to get the vaccine are large scientific studies that show no side effects (48%), proven effectiveness (46%), and FDA approval (40%).
  • Doctors and nurses are the most trusted sources of honest and factual information about COVID-19.

Most consider the Latino vote important, but there are some signs of voter apathy and lagging public trust in U.S. democratic elections.

  • A majority of respondents (55%) say the country is on the wrong track, and the federal government's response to COVID-19 pandemic  is largely seen as a failing: 48% say the U.S. government response has been poor or terrible and 32% give it an “okay” rating. 
  • In this context, a majority (58%) acknowledge that the presidential election is “extremely” important and (71% believe it is important that Latinos vote to make their voices heard.
  • At the same time, nearly four in ten (39%) express concerns about fairness of the election in general, and one in three (36%) are concerned about potential violence after the election. With looming uncertainty about election legitimacy, nearly one in four (23%) eligible Hispanic voters ages 35–49 say they either won’t vote (11%) or might not vote (12%). 
  • In this chaotic election year, a majority (55%) of Hispanic likely voters surveyed plan to vote either early in person (22%) or absentee by mail (33%).

Methodology

This survey of 1,000 Hispanic adults ages 35 and older explored how people are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, their attitudes about a possible COVID-19 vaccine, and their opinions about the 2020 presidential election. A sample of 350 non-Hispanic adults was also included for comparison. Interviews were conducted September 1–13, 2020.

 

Suggested citation:

Houghton, Angela. Salud, Dinero & Amor in the Time of Covid-19. Washington, DC: AARP Research, October 2020. https://doi.org/10.26419/res.00412.001