With all that is happening in today’s news, RA News asked its readership about their thoughts on the pandemic.
Specifically, we wanted to know our readers’ thoughts about the government’s response to the coronavirus, and if a coronavirus vaccine is developed whether they would take it. We also asked the question, “Do you think expanded access to health care could help slow the spread of infectious diseases?” We’ve compiled your feedback to share below.
COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, was first identified in December 2019. In its expeditious spread across the globe, government and health officials have scrambled to contain the growing pandemic.
However, it was only on March 13, after Gov. Greg Abbott’s declaration of a statewide emergency in response to the coronavirus, that some Texans began social distancing.
Since the announcement, Texas businesses have been shutting their doors in the hope of minimizing the disease’s spread.
Despite precautions, as of Thursday, the official count from the Texas Department of State Health Services rests at 194, with cases of COVID-19 confirmed in in Bell, Bexar, Bowie, Brazoria, Brazos, Collin, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gregg, Harris, Hays, Lavaca, Matagorda, Medina, Montgomery, Rusk, Smith, Tarrant, Travis, and Webb counties.
In Texas, five deaths have been reported.
However, due to the state’s limited testing capability and reports of community spread, it is likely these results are understated.
In this current state of uncertainty, Reform Austin turned to its readers to gain their perspective on the issue.
With over 2,600 of our readers responding to an email survey on the issue, this is what we have learned:
When asked the question “Do you think the government response to the coronavirus has been adequate,” our readers overwhelmingly — by 70 percent — said the government response had not been sufficient. And when asked whether they thought expanded access to health care would help slow the spread of infectious disease, 80 percent of responding readers said that increased health care access would in fact be an effective way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
However, when asked if a vaccine were to be developed, 27 percent of respondents said they would not get immunized.
While the sample of Reform Austin’s readership is not representative of the larger population, it seems that overall there is a general dissatisfaction with slow-moving government action. And in a state where one in five Texans is uninsured, a majority of our readership believes expanded access to health care could have a significant impact.
As the virus continues to spread throughout the state, the ideal situation is one where Texans would be able to gain access to testing and to health professionals.
Tell us what you think. Fill out our new survey on COVID-19:
Disclaimer: This survey of RA News readership was not a scientific survey of the general population.