Los Angeles residents say they would back tougher steps than those already taken to slow the rate of coronavirus infection, including shutting down public transit, restricting travel within California, and closing airports, according to a new survey conducted by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University.
The survey also found more than half of Los Angeles County residents suffered a loss of household income as a result of the pandemic. That reality led more than half of residents to say they worry about feeding their families, paying their bills, and looking after their children.
“Across the board, these results show that L.A. is fully engulfed in this situation,” said Fernando Guerra, director of the center and professor of Political Science and Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies at LMU. “While more than half of Los Angeles households have lost income, they still support tougher measures against the COVID spread. We’re willing to lock down society even more if that’s what it takes to stop the virus.”
Despite widespread concern, survey respondents were still more likely to predict the pandemic would impact others more than it would impact them. While 38 percent said it would affect them or their households “a great deal,” that number grew to 77 percent when asked about the nation as a whole.
Still, most Angelenos correctly identified symptoms of the illness, as well as the best steps they can take to protect themselves from infection.
“That shows us people are listening, and dovetails with the high level of trust residents said they have in local leaders to handle this crisis,” said Brianne Gilbert, associate director of the center. “In fact, after Mayor Garcetti recommended the use of masks and face coverings, we saw more responses indicating that was an effective tool against the illness.”
The survey was conducted from March 23 to April 8 and reached 2,000 respondents—1,000 in the city of Los Angeles, and 1,000 in the rest of the county. It was conducted in both English and Spanish via telephone and online. The margin of error is +/- 2 percent.
Click here for the full COVID-19 public opinion report.