- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
Dec. 28, 2020
Feelings of loneliness and anxiety continue to affect Sioux Falls residents during the pandemic, and many say they have few sources for trusted information about COVID-19.
That’s according to a new survey from SiouxFalls.Business and the Augustana Research Institute.
Those and other insights on how the community is responding to the pandemic at this stage came from 500 readers who responded to the open survey that was conducted from Dec. 13-23. It is not a scientific survey, but it does include representation from all age groups. Respondents were 55 percent female and 45 percent male.
The survey respondents skewed slightly older than our previous two surveys, with 62 percent of respondents reporting they are 50 or older.
Our respondents also reflect a few populations. They are most likely English speakers. They are more likely to own a home. And they likely are engaged with news, or they would not have found the survey. So keep those things in mind to avoid thinking this survey should stand as representative for the entire community.
One of the most revealing questions asked where respondents believed they received trusted information about COVID-19. They could select all that applied.
Two-thirds said they trusted health care information channels – the most of any category.
Half said they trusted government information channels.
Thirty-seven percent said they received trusted COVID-19 information from local media, while 28 percent said they did from national media.
Fifteen percent said they have no trusted source for information about COVID-19.
“It’s hard to trust or know who to believe anymore,” one respondent said. “I hope that our health care systems are the most trusted.”
Several respondents said they looked to their physician for information. Many who work in health care said they look to their colleagues.
Many mentioned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website as a trusted source.
“I do not have one trusted source but rather research a variety of sources to come to my own conclusion,” one respondent wrote.
Another respondent looks to “people who do the research and post it on Facebook in the COVID groups.”
Nearly one in four residents – 38 percent – said they continue to struggle with loneliness, anxiety or depression at this point in the pandemic.
That’s an improvement from the last time the survey was taken in June, when 48 percent said they had been dealing with one or more of these challenges.
Sioux Falls residents also appear to be returning to routine medical care.
Seventy percent said they had sought routine medical care in the past three months. Most had sought care in person, while some had done a hybrid of virtual and in-person care, and 13 individuals had done virtual care only.
One of those was someone who received care through the AveraNow virtual platform.
“If I had a more serious problem, I would trust to go to an in-person appointment, but it hasn’t been necessary,” the respondent said.
Another respondent who sought virtual care did so “so I can be in the best possible health for myself and in the event I get COVID,” the person said.
“A virtual appointment was all that was offered by the provider, and honestly that’s the only way I would’ve gone to limit my exposure.”
Others said they prefer face-to-face interaction and are comfortable with the precautions being taken.
“Doesn’t bother me,” one respondent said. “I trust the facilities are cleaner than they have ever been.”
SiouxFalls.Business will release more survey results this week and next.
Mental health, medical care and where they go to find trusted information about COVID-19 (if anywhere): Our survey respondents told us.