Do You Feel Judged When Sneezing In Public During The Pandemic?

Do You Feel Judged When Sneezing In Public During The Pandemic?

Over half of Americans feel judged when they have to sneeze in public, even when they’re masking up, according to new research. The survey polled 2,000 Americans to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted social etiquette around coughing and sneezing, especially as allergy season approaches. With over half (56%) of respondents feeling the heat of judgmental eyes after sneezing or coughing, it’s no wonder that another 55% shared they experience a slight moment of panic when they feel the urge to sneeze coming on.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Flonase, also analyzed the top thoughts that pop into Americans’ heads when they’re fighting a sneeze or cough. Some of the top thoughts respondents have included “Great, now people think I’m sick,” “I promise I’m NOT sick” and “Hold it in!” Another 24% of respondents shared they think “I hope I don’t have snot in my mask” as well as “It’s just allergies, I swear!”

With all of these thoughts in mind, it’s no surprise that 59% of respondents agreed sneezing fits or allergy attacks always come at the worst time – and 71% agreed there’s nothing more irritating than a never-ending sneezing fit. Respondents were also asked to pinpoint the worst parts of seasonal allergies and the trifecta of allergy suffering is reported to be runny nose and itchy, watery eyes and, of course, nasal congestion.

Finishing off the list of the top five worst parts of seasonal allergies are sneezing or coughing in public and sneezing fits for seemingly no reason at all. The survey also asked respondents their thoughts when someone else sneezes in public and found six in 10 do immediately say “Bless you” – but only up to three consecutive sneezes. After saying bless you, 37% of respondents said their next thought when witnessing a stranger sneeze or cough is “I hope they’re not sick.” Another 34% of respondents think to themselves ‘I hope it’s just allergies’. “Spring looks different this year but, as always, allergens like pollen will emerge causing sneezing and coughing.” said Dan Wertheim, Brand Manager of Flonase. “The results showed the worst parts of allergy season were nasal congestion, runny nose and itchy, water eyes.

To stop allergy symptoms from affecting you all season long, and feel more at ease when in public, it’s crucial to find an allergy relief option that works best for you.” Respondents, however, do have a limit for how long they’re willing to listen to you sneeze – up to four sneezes on average – before it gets annoying.

Regardless of the number of sneezes, sneezing style also plays a factor in respondents’ moods. Thirty percent of respondents who classified themselves as a loud and proud sneezer agreed they get annoyed by someone else with a loud sneeze, compared to 46% of respondents who identify as a stealth-like sneezer. Regardless of sneezing style, 46% of respondents said they’re dreading the upcoming allergy season because of the additional stress they’re experiencing due to the pandemic. As a result, 27% of seasonal allergy sufferers are worried their seasonal allergies will be taken up a notch this season due to the past year’s quarantine.

“The idea of your allergy symptoms appearing in public during this time can be nerve-racking, though if managed correctly, sufferers can experience relief from springtime allergens and the reactions that follow. Forty-three percent of respondents agreed they always feel caught off guard by allergy season, so now is the perfect time to start researching relief options.” said Wertheim.

Content courtesy of 72point.


  • 72 Point

    Our goal is simple. To generate creative survey-led ideas, write eye-catching, compelling stories, videos and infographics that people will want to publish, post and share.

    View all posts