Poll: One in three Utahns don’t believe COVID-19 is a serious threat to themselves or their families

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By far, most Utahns believe the coronavirus is a serious threat to the world and to the United States, a new poll finds.

But most don’t think it is a serious threat to their local community, nor to themselves personally or their families, the survey for UtahPolicy.com/2News by Y2 Analytics finds.

Y2’s poll results indicate that a third of the population doesn’t see the virus as a real threat to themselves — which could be a threat in and of itself.

And Utah men don’t see the virus as much of a threat as women do, and Republicans and conservatives really don’t see the virus as a threat locally — showing once again that one’s political leanings impact on how they see the coronavirus pandemic’s impact.

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The fact that less than half of the survey see the virus as a real threat to their community, themselves and their families, can be seen in different ways, no doubt.

One way is that Utahns have faith in their state and local health departments and government officials — along with citizens’ self-quarantining — to keep the virus from infecting a lot of their neighbors, themselves and their families.

And, as of now, that certainly must be considered a good thing.

But if a third of Utahns don’t believe the virus is a real threat to be taken seriously, well, that is not good, for those folks may not be taking cautions which could slow the virus’s spread.

Conversely, by large majorities, Utahns don’t see the United States nor the world as a whole as dealing with the virus effectively.

Y2 asked Utahns if they see the coronavirus outbreak as a “very high” threat, a “high” threat, a “moderate” threat, a “low” threat, a “very low” threat or don’t know.

They then listed different areas of impact — the world, U.S., local community, yourself, and your family.

Some of the numbers:

71 percent said the virus is a “very high” or “high” threat to the world, 23 percent said it was a “moderate” threat, and only 5 percent see it as a “low” or “very low” threat.

65 percent said the outbreak is a “very high” or “high” threat to the United States as a whole.

But only 45 percent said our local communities face a serious threat, 36 percent said it was a “moderate” threat to those around us, while 19 percent it really wasn’t much a threat at all.

Utahns feel even better about themselves and their immediate family members:

30 percent said they themselves face a real threat from the virus, 31 percent said it was “moderate,” while 39 percent — the largest group — said personally they didn’t see much of a threat of the virus at all.

And only 34 percent said they see a real threat of the virus to their immediate family members, with 35 percent saying the treat was moderate and 30 percent saw really little threat at all.

That 39/30 percent who don’t see a threat to themselves or their family members could be two worrisome numbers for GOP Gov. Gary Herbert and his virus pandemic task force.

That’s around a third of the populace not taking the virus that seriously — and so may not be self-quarantining as they should, not wearing facemasks in public, not washing their hands as they should or staying away from others as they should.

Utah is one of the few states whose governors have NOT ordered “non-essential” citizens to stay home, with Herbert saying that is not yet necessary, while warning Utahns to take voluntary precautions to avoid catching the virus themselves and/or passing it on to others

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Some Utah city and county officials HAVE order self-quarantining. And their leaders threaten some kind of citations for clear and dangerous violations.

Social media still has pictures of large groups of Utahns gathering in unacceptable ways — either as large family groups or cook-outs, and so on.

Y2 polled 1,331 individuals between March 21-30, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percent.