Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Racial Justice | Tracking COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Poll: Majority Of Californians Believe Masks Should Be Worn In Public

Cover image for podcast episode

Large majorities of Californians are worried about getting coronavirus and the impact of the pandemic on their pocketbooks, according to a recent poll from the Public Policy Institute of California.

Speaker 1: 00:00 Large majority is of residents in very blue California, take the Corona virus and its effects on health and the economy quite seriously. Majority's in our state also believe racism is widespread and a long festering problem. Those are the results of newly released polling. And joining me to dig into the numbers is Alyssa Dykeman, a research associate at public policy Institute of California and the lead researcher on their latest survey. Welcome to the program.

Speaker 2: 00:26 Thank you so much. Glad to be here

Speaker 1: 00:28 Comes as California's unfortunately seeing a record number of COVID-19 cases that found that the majority of Californians worry about getting Corona virus. And what did your poll find regarding attitudes toward wearing masks in public among our state's residents?

Speaker 2: 00:42 Yeah, so an overwhelming majority of California and say that people in their local area should always wear masks and few say never. When they go to public places where they may be near others, nearly three and four Californians say people in their area should always wear a mask in public as a means of preventing COVID-19 spread, including solid majorities across regions, and only 3% say that people should never wear a mask in public.

Speaker 1: 01:13 Were they also asked about if they practice wearing mass mass themselves as well?

Speaker 2: 01:18 They were just asked whether they thought it would be a good idea to wear a mask. They were not asked about personal usage.

Speaker 1: 01:24 And do we know how this compares with attitudes toward masks in other Sunbelt States that are experienced a spike in cases like Florida, Texas, recently, Arizona?

Speaker 2: 01:33 Yeah. So when we look at a national comparison from a June Pew research center poll, we find that Californians are far more likely to say that they should always wear a mask when going outside. And so that really just signifies to me, Californians concerns about the issue and their seriousness about it.

Speaker 1: 01:53 And we see stories in the news about people being resistant to wearing masks and not following public health orders. What's the aim of the survey, is it to give a glimpse of the,

Speaker 2: 02:04 Yeah, it is. So we asked about a number of timely issues, including the coronavirus, um, and that included questions relating to Californians concerns about their own health, as well as their mental health, as well as just general policies surrounding where it going Basque also in regards to whether their finances, uh, will be affected by the coronavirus.

Speaker 1: 02:26 Right. And I wanted to get into a, to that this survey comes a mid terrible economic news regarding second quarter gross domestic product that came out today, record high unemployment claims. Uh, this week, last week's numbers were bad as well. What did your new finding show regarding Californians views on their financial outlook amid the pen?

Speaker 2: 02:46 Yeah, so the COVID-19 crisis has shaken public confidence. Um, 80% of Californians expect bad times financially in the next 12 months. And Californians are divided on whether the government should take action right away to reduce greenhouse gas emissions rather than wait for the economy and jobs situation to improve, uh, nonetheless, uh, solid majorities of California adults and likely voters say stricter environmental laws and regulations in California are worth it.

Speaker 1: 03:18 And you mentioned that the poll found the majority of Californians worry about getting Corona virus, but the poll also found it varies by ethnicity with one of the hardest hit groups, Latinos being the most worried.

Speaker 2: 03:30 Yes. So Latinos continue to be, uh, affected severely in the dimensions, including getting sick as well as financial, um, having a negative financial impact in our July survey, we find that Latinos are the most likely to say that their lives have been disrupted a lot by the coronavirus outbreak and Latinos are also the most likely we have about 61% of Latinos saying they are very worried about getting sick from the coronavirus, um, compared to far fewer in other racial and ethnic groups.

Speaker 1: 04:01 And what about looking ahead? How optimistic are Californians about when the pandemic might ease up and when we might return to some kind of normalcy, like more businesses and schools reopening

Speaker 2: 04:14 Well, gauging Californians on their readiness for the coronavirus outbreak, two seas, um, I'd say in general, California is outlook is very pessimistic. Um, for most, again, we look at the consumer confidence and our indicator for that, and that is that 80% of Californians think there are bad financial times in the next year. So Californians are very much concerned about the coronaviruses fallout on the economy, uh, as well as the environment. And they're just society in general,

Speaker 1: 04:48 In the poll also assess California residents attitudes toward the black lives matter movement. What, what did you find in your survey?

Speaker 2: 04:56 Yeah, so we found California and strongly support. The black lives matter movement about two and three. Um, say they somewhat or strongly support black lives matter. Of course, this varies widely by racial and ethnic groups, but we found African Americans are the most likely to say that they support black lives matter movement

Speaker 1: 05:17 And attitudes toward racial disparities in our society.

Speaker 2: 05:22 So with long standing, you know, health disparities, exacerbating racial disparities, um, we find that about more than eight and 10 California and say racism is a problem in the U S including six and 10 who say it is a big problem. Uh, again, African Americans are the most likely to say racism is a problem with 86% of African American saying it is a big problem. This is followed by Latinos, Asian Americans. And then

Speaker 1: 05:50 I've been speaking with Alyssa Dikeman of the public policy Institute of California. Thanks very much for joining us.

Speaker 2: 05:56 You so much.

KPBS Midday Edition Segments podcast branding

KPBS Midday Edition Segments

Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon host KPBS Midday Edition, a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.