COVID a financial burden to 25% of Kansas households

Annual survey checks the pulse of Kansans on economic, political and social issues. It included financial stability and other new issues in light of the coronavirus crisis.

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State News

November 2, 2020 - 9:20 AM

Brett Zollinger, director of the Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University, said the annual Kansas Speaks statewide survey chronicled household impact of COVID-19, attitudes about wearing a mask and who people trust with medical advice during the crisis. Photo by (Submitted to Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — One-fourth of Kansas households experienced serious problems during the COVID-19 pandemic covering essential costs of food, utility and medical bills and dealing with obligations of loans and credit card debt.

That was among findings of a sweeping statewide survey by the Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University conducted annually to check the pulse of Kansans on economic, political and social issues. Amid the coronavirus crisis factoring in the death of more than 1,000 Kansans, the survey was adjusted to include examination of the financial stability of individual households and to drill down on public attitudes about vaccines, masks and political leadership.

“Fairly sobering results,” Brett Zollinger, director of the Docking Institute, said on the Kansas Reflector podcast. “We have overall about 25%, around a quarter of Kansans, you know express that … at some point since the start of the coronavirus they’ve had a serious problem in affording food, affording medical care, paying utilities, paying credit cards and loan debt.”

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