Researchers from the University of Washington School of Public Health are gathering data and stories on how individuals, families and communities in Seattle and King County, Washington, are coping with the stay-at-home measures put in place to combat the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The King County COVID-19 Community Study (KC3S) began gathering data in mid-March and will do so through May 5.
“We want to start collecting this information now — as the COVID-19 pandemic is unfolding — about how families and communities are being impacted, and how they are adapting,” said Nicole Errett, a lecturer in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, who is one of the leaders of the new study.
“Our goal is to understand how individuals are dealing with these new and far-reaching public health response measures and document how communities are rising together to meet unprecedented challenges,” Errett said.
Errett is working with Tania Busch Isaksen, who is a senior lecturer in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences and a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Health Services. Participants of the KC3S study must submit an online questionnaire and a written response that describes in their own words how the pandemic has impacted them, their families and communities, and how they are dealing with these difficult times. Any adult King County resident can participate in the study.
By collecting stories and information about what King County residents are experiencing, researchers hope to identify common issues on their overall well-being and the ways in which communities are demonstrating resiliency.
The online questionnaire, which can be found on the KC3S website, asks participants about particular behaviors they may have engaged in — such as hand-washing and avoiding large crowds — as the pandemic unfolded, as well as concerns they have about COVID-19, their well-being and demographic information. The questionnaire is currently available in English and Spanish, with other languages planned, according to Errett.
According to Errett, few studies have measured how current public health restrictions impact well-being or how communities could try to come together to help individuals adapt. “What we find will hopefully inform recommendations to public health officials going forward, so that we can remain safe — and also thrive,” Errett said.