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Siena poll: Nearly every NYer affected by coronavirus

A woman waits to get into the Family

A woman waits to get into the Family Dollar store in Freeport on Friday. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

ALBANY — A poll on Monday found 14% of New Yorkers questioned said they were under mandatory quarantine and another 42% are voluntarily self-quarantining themselves as nearly every New Yorker is impacted by the COVID-19 virus.

The Siena Research Institute poll found 87% of respondents said their daily lives were somewhat or very significantly affected by the virus. The poll found 39% of consumers said they were practicing social distancing methods to stay at least 6 feet apart from others as a way to try to avoid spreading the virus.

“The coronavirus crisis has turned life upside down for nearly all New Yorkers,” said Don Levy, director of the Siena poll. “Ninety-five percent are either quarantining or cutting back on going out, not being around others and practicing social distancing. Almost as many, 82 percent, are worried about their health.”

Just 4% of consumers questioned said their lives were continuing as usual.

But 77% of consumers said they expect the virus and the shutdown of much of the economy will cause them serious financial problems. The poll found 51% are concerned they may not be able to pay their monthly bills while another 37% fear layoffs. More than half of younger consumers making less than $50,000 a year are concerned with being able to afford food.

“Two-thirds of New Yorkers say that their anxiety level is up, 66% say they feel powerless and wish there was something more they could do and 62 percent say that ‘it’s starting to feel like this will never end,’” Levy said.

More than half of those polled agreed that “not being with other people is making them lonely” and more than 60% agreed that “if it wasn’t for the ability to see and talk to others via the internet, they think they’d be going crazy.”

Yet most New Yorkers also see a brighter side. The poll found 75% of consumers appreciate the extra time they have with those close to them now that most companies, stores and entertainment sites are closed.

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The poll questioned 400 consumers March 30 to Saturday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 points.

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