Coping with and Adapting to COVID-19 in Rural United States and Canada

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Guidelines aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 resulted in major changes in people’s lives. A cross-sectional online survey, completed by 1,405 adults in Canada and the United States in June 2020, found respondents from rural areas/small towns reported better coping and adjustment (i.e., less use of substances for support), less personal impact, less life disruption, and fewer challenges with transportation and health care, than urban and suburban respondents. Those in rural areas were less likely to use the newspaper, but more likely to use social media, for information. Finally, rural respondents reported higher levels of support for their national leadership’s response to the pandemic. The needs and strengths of rural areas, as well as approaches to serve rural areas are discussed.