When you were a kid, being covered in mosquito bites and calamine lotion was just a part of summer. But now that the World Health Organization has declare the Zika virus a global public health emergency, those little pests are doing a lot of damage — and you don’t even have to contract it to be effected by it as a parent. A recent online poll of 1000 adults reveals how much just the fear of of Zika might change the summer habits of families. If nothing else, you can probably expect a run on fresh air at your local Whole Foods.
The survey, developed and sponsored by DynaTrap and administered by Toluna International, found that 60 percent of Americans are more concerned about mosquitos and mosquito-borne illnesses this summer compared to last year, and 48 percent of them are highly concerned about Zika. Consequently, 38 percent said that they will spend less time outside due to Zika anxieties. That’s as much of a bummer for your kid as it is for the calamine industry.
Gender played a role in the respondents’ “caution” (said the moms) or “paranoia” (said the dads): 71 percent of mothers reported being highly worried about diseases like Zika, compared to 59 percent of fathers. This could be due ZIka’s disproportionate effect on pregnant women, or just the fact that dads are hard to keep out of the woods. Either way, you can spend those extra hours indoors boring your kid with “back in my day,” stories, when the worst thing about bug bites was the itching.