Coronavirus

Tracking a unique coronavirus data point: our feelings

In a partnership with data analytics firm Elucd, City & State will publish daily updates on coronavirus sentiment polling of New Yorkers.

Ridership on the subway in New York City has plunged as the coronavirus pandemic has worsened.

Ridership on the subway in New York City has plunged as the coronavirus pandemic has worsened. Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock

Can you remember a time before coronavirus? Our lives have changed dramatically in a matter of weeks, as the coronavirus outbreak has been certified as a pandemic and New York has gone from a bustling state to one effectively sheltered in place. As new information floods in everyday from public health experts and government officials, our feelings about the seriousness of the pandemic or who we trust to provide reliable information about coronavirus can shift in days.

Now, a technology company has started tracking our attitudes about these matters in an attempt to give governments a better idea of how its citizens are responding to the crisis. Elucd, a Brooklyn-based data analytics company that has partnered with the New York Police Department on projects like tracking how safe New Yorkers feel in their neighborhoods, is now doing similar sentiment polling on New Yorkers’ opinions and feelings about the coronavirus pandemic. As part of a new partnership with Elucd, starting this week, City & State will begin publishing the findings of that polling in our midday email, First Read Session Update. 

While the Cuomo and de Blasio administrations are providing regular updates on the number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths, it’s not as easy to get hard data on citizens’ thoughts and attitudes about the pandemic back to those government officials. That’s where Elucd comes in. 

Elucd’s first client was the NYPD, and its partnership allows the department to understand how the public perceives police and how safe people feel in their neighborhoods. But observing the quickly intensifying attitudes around coronavirus, Michael Simon, co-founder and chief executive officer of Elucd, said he saw an opening for the company to help. “It became very clear to us, from what we were hearing from our city partners, that everyone was becoming alert and alarmed at the same time about what was coming down the pike,” Simon told City & State. “And we thought, what we know how to do is to move very, very fast and instantly enable them to hear from the people they serve.” The company is working directly with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, and also shares the results of its polling – which dates back to March 15 in New York – with over 40 different towns and cities across the state on an ongoing basis, including Rochester, Albany and Syracuse. 

While Elucd is conducting this sentiment polling across the nation and in other states, the statewide polling in New York – which now has roughly 5% of the confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide – offers some interesting insights. Take, for example, a question asking to what extent respondents were practicing social distancing. Last Tuesday, only 23% of respondents said they were social distancing “most of the time.” By Sunday, the day an effective lockdown ordered by Cuomo went into effect, that number was up almost 30 points, to 55%. Elucd is also able to break down this data demographically to tell what age groups, for example, might not be following social distancing – a data point that can help governments in targeting their public information efforts. 

Simon also said that when comparing New York’s polling information to the nationwide results, it seems that New Yorkers are taking the threat of the pandemic a bit more seriously than the average person living in the United States – perhaps because of the high number of cases in the state. This is evidenced by a data point showing that the share of New Yorkers who believe the current state of closed schools, businesses and public places will last four to six months is now higher than the number of people nationwide who believe it could last that long.

To conduct this polling, Elucd relies on digital ad networks – the ads that pop up with questions to answer when you’re reading an article online, scrolling through your Instagram feed or looking around for pantry recipes. Simon said that with this method, the company is able to collect responses from a broad demographic range, and from different respondents each day. They can also reach people on any device – whether they’re working from home, working at a hospital or on the go.

Technology companies like Elucd have emerged as potential partners for government in dealing with the pandemic, and Simon said the tech community has in some ways rallied to provide what help it can. “In the circles that I operate in, this is the No. 1 thing people are grappling with,” Simon said. “My observation is there is a real sense of obligation. We have talent, know-how and we can move very fast.”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.