Poll Gauges How Life Has Changed For New Yorkers During Pandemic

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ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Most New York state residents say they are either quarantining themselves or practicing social distancing, according to a new poll from Siena College.

Fourteen percent of New Yorkers said they were under mandatory quarantine, and 42 percent were self-quarantining.

“Thirty-nine percent, and that’s an interesting group, say they are not quarantining, but they are cutting back on going out, cutting back on being around others,” said  Don Levy, director of the Siena College Research Institute. “They’re practicing social distancing. When you add all of those people together, you get up to 95 percent of New Yorkers affected acutely, really, on a day-to-day basis.”

The global pandemic has triggered anxiety and stress for many people, and the Siena poll finds New York residents are most worried about their and loved ones’ health and finances.

Half of the 400 adults who were surveyed said they are concerned they won’t be able to pay their monthly bills.

“And that number skyrockets, really, amongst New Yorkers under the age of 50,” Levy added. “Over 60 percent of New Yorkers under the age of 50 are concerned about whether they are or are not going to be able to pay their bills.”

Nearly half of those polled said they might have to help a family member pay their bills.

Despite their fears, 76 percent of New Yorkers said the crisis has allowed them to feel like they’re enjoying the small things in life, and 75 percent appreciate the extra time they are spending with people who are close to them.

The statewide poll was conducted between March 30 and April 2.