Adam Niescioruk COVID-19 Mask

COVID-19 Emotional Consequences

COVID-19 Day 123 – There is no doubt that the COVID-19 crisis caused deep anxiety. The concern for the future may take people a long time to feel secure again. Readily available are many sources of primary research and analytics about the concern the COVID-19 crisis has on human behavior and attitudes. The Center for Compassionate Leadership took a different approach to learn about the effects the crisis is having on leadership and business. The Center for Compassionate Leadership launched a survey on March 27th, 2020, to understand “compassionate leadership amid the chaos”. If you can think back to March 27th, 2020, that was day 67 since the first US documented case of the coronavirus. I was asked to assist with the design of a survey to gather insights and perceptions from three cohorts:

  • Leaders
  • Employees and team
  • Solo entrepreneurs and self-employed

The total number of completed responses is from 200 people from around the world.

In summarizing the findings from Compassionate Leadership Amid the Chaos research on the CFCL blog there is some good that can while adjusting to the crisis. Greater appreciation of human connection is the valued insight among 73% of all the respondents. Respondents miss the human connection and mourn the loss from not being able to connect. Another insight identifies 69% of respondents believing that job flexibility (work from home, or part-time) as a necessary need. Keeping one’s self, employees, family, and community safety is a priority. Respondents were asked to define their level of compassion in comparison to two weeks prior to taking the survey; 51% of the respondents felt an increase in compassion. There is much more to learn from the research that the Center for Compassionate Leadership conducted on Compassionate Leadership Amid the Chaos. For more information on the survey please contact the Center for Compassionate Leadership through

I conducted an independent research project to understand coping during the coronavirus crisis. A representative sample of the US population responded to the survey. In which, 383 people, took the survey to discuss their feelings. I launched the survey on April 28th, which is day 95 since the first US reported case of coronavirus. People were experiencing much stress and trying to adjust the deadly silent threat, disruption to lifestyle, and financial situation.

This is my synopsis of the initial findings, there will be much more to come. Respondents reported feeling sad, fearful, anxious, and distracted. They are uncertain about their financial outlook for the next six months, 51% felt poor about their financial outlook and 49% felt good. They were asked to think about the overall economy six months from now, 70% are less hopeful about the overall economy. Only a year ago, I asked 1,000 US consumers to identify their next big financial event, of which 43% said they would buy house or vehicle requiring a mortgage or auto loan.  On May 21, 2020, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds, “two-thirds of Americans do not expect their daily lives to return to normal for at least six months, and as states reopen, three-quarters are concerned that the second wave of coronavirus cases will emerge.” Vulnerability is a challenge to the recovery for the US economy, which will take longer because of fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the future.

Circumstances became dire for everyone in the US and the world as social distancing and self-isolation measures were put in place to protect each other from getting or giving the coronavirus. There were many reasons that contributed to the impact on respondents’ ability to cope. Change had the greatest impact such as adjusting to social distancing (66%) and modifying behaviors and habits (54%). There are many challenges respondents experiencing in coping during the COVID-19 crisis. Respondents (41%) identified accepting the loss of physical connection, 29% adjusting to working from home and 28% transitioning to shopping online. Being mindful was identified as a positive factor used to cope with 47% of respondents.

Relief, reliance, and connection were sought out through smartphones and tablets (59%), streaming services (57%), social networks (49%), cable and satellite (49%), and grocery delivery (39%). Many needed forms of entertainment such as watching TV (30%), reading books or magazines (27%), and playing multiplayer games (14%). Some people desired self-care (35%).

COVID-19 will bring about numerous changes to various aspects of society. Respondents (69%) believe people will work from home or online more often, 57% believe there will be less travel, while 47% think most shopping will take place online. Respondents think there will be shifts to the new technologies surfacing (45%), doctors and physicians assistants will adopt telemedicine offerings (44%), new forms of entertainment will evolve (32%). The emotional consequences 29% of the respondents believe people will not trust each other and the government will be different.

Attitudes and behaviors about coping manifest through resilience, change, and acceptance. There is much to learn from the emotional consequences of living through the coronavirus crisis. The main lesson is we long for human connection and learned to adapt during the crisis. In the next coming weeks, I will have more to share on coping during the COVID-19 crisis.

Image by: Adam Niescioruk