Researchers: Americans Turning To Prayer, Distancing, Hygiene Changes Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — People in the United States are changing their daily behavior in hopes of reducing their chance of getting coronavirus.

A new survey conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California asked people about actions within the last seven days to protect themselves.

Results so far found that 85 percent of people have been washing their hands or using hand sanitizer more frequently.

Coronavirus fears have caused long lines and product shortages at local stores due to an increased demand for items such as hand sanitizer, hand soap, rubbing alcohol, sanitizing wipes and toilet paper.

61 percent of respondents said they’ve been practicing some form of social distancing.

According to the CDC, “social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.”

Several game shows, concerts and other events that draw large crowds have been postponed amid concerns.

50 percent of people said they’ve prayed in response to the outbreak.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he has declared Sunday, March 15 as a National Day of Prayer.

25 percent said they’ve avoided restaurants, amid warnings to limit large gatherings, and 18 percent have specifically avoided Chinese restaurants. There is no link between Chinese restaurants and coronavirus.

The survey, which was conducted from March 10-12, examined concerns of 2,436 U.S. residents in response to outbreak.

Ways to protect yourself and others

  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid close contact
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick
  • Clean and disinfect

Monitor the CDC website for information about how to stay safe during the pandemic.

To stay up -to-date on local L.A.-area coronavirus news, check out CBSLA’s dedicated webpage.