A new survey from the Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute reveals that Hoosiers are more concerned about a future disease outbreak than they were before 2020.
The Hoosier Life Survey 2.0 is part of a comprehensive effort by IU researchers to gauge Indiana residents' environmental attitudes as a follow-up to the first Hoosier Life Survey conducted in 2019. Results of the 2019 survey have been shared with policymakers, educators, businesses leaders and the public to facilitate discussions and decision-making about how to address climate change in Indiana and boost state resilience.
IU researchers checked in with Indiana residents who participated in the 2019 Hoosier Life Survey to get a sense of how they coped in 2020 -- a year filled with health-, economic- and justice-related crises.
According to the Hoosier Life Survey 2.0 results, nearly 1 in 2 Indiana residents anticipate that their family is likely to be affected by a new disease outbreak in the next decade -- compared to the 1 out of 5 who felt the same way when they were surveyed in 2019.
About 1,200 of the 2,700 Hoosiers who responded to the first survey participated in the follow-up survey, conducted between October 2020 and March 2021.
"What we found is that Hoosiers generally express much more pessimism about the future than they did in the initial survey, issued just before the COVID-19 pandemic," said Matt Houser, co-leader of the study and an IU sociologist and Environmental Resilience Institute research fellow. "Presented with the possibility of facing hypothetical threats in the next decade, such as extreme weather, a disease outbreak, a government shutdown or an economic crisis, respondents judged they were all more likely than they did a year before. This makes a lot of sense. 2020 was hard on everyone; it's tough not see the world in a different way."