Multigenerational households, where children, parents and grandparents all live together, present a unique challenge during the coronavirus pandemic.
It can be difficult for young children to physically distance from their older family members and vice versa. Earlier this week, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, urged Americans in multigenerational households to wear masks while at home.
“But more importantly, if you're in multigenerational households and there's an outbreak in your rural area or in your city, you need to really consider wearing a mask at home, assuming that you're positive, if you have individuals in your household with comorbidities,” said Dr. Birx.
Whether or not to wear a face mask has flooded the headlines since early March, as the number of COVID-19 cases began to rapidly increase in the United States, and has turned into a political talking point as the country gears up for the November 2020 presidential election.
A YouGov survey conducted in August finds two in five (40%) Americans are very willing to wear a mask in the common areas of their home, if they lived in a multigenerational household. Over one in five Americans (21%) say they are somewhat willing to wear a mask while in the common areas of their home, compared to 17 percent who say they would not be willing at all, and 12 percent who are not very willing to do so.
Young Americans appear to be less likely to adhere to Birx’s plea. Nearly three in 10 Americans ages 18 to 24 (28%) say they would be very willing to wear a mask at home, compared to 36 percent of 25-to 34-year-olds, 39 percent of 35-to 44-year-olds, 45 percent of 45-to 54-year-olds, and 44 percent of Americans over the age of 55.
Republicans (43%) are less likely than Independents (57%) and Democrats (77%) to be willing to wear a mask while in the common areas of their home, if they lived in a multigenerational household. More than a third of Republicans (34%) say they would not be willing at all to wear a mask at home, compared to one in five Independents (20%), and 5 percent of Democrats.