WASHINGTON – Most Americans are unlikely to return to restaurants, bars, theaters, or gyms any time soon, even as state and local authorities across the country increasingly allow the reopening of businesses, according to a new poll. by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
That hesitation in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic could slow any recovery from what has been the sharpest and fastest economic recession in US history. Just 42% of those who attended concerts, movies, theaters or sporting events at least once a month before the outbreak say they would in the next few weeks if they could.
Only about half of those who regularly ate out at restaurants, exercised in the gym, or traveled said they would feel comfortable doing it again.
About a quarter of those surveyed said that someone in their family lost their job in the midst of this recession, and that about half have lost some of their household income, either because of layoffs, a cut in wages, fewer hours of work, or unpaid free time.
Most of those whose home was laid off still believe they will return to their previous job, but the proportion that expects their job to have disappeared increased slightly in the past month, from 20% to 30%.
Amber Van Den Berge, a teacher in Indiana, was unable to immediately return to her second job as an exercise instructor. She would have to pass a COVID-19 screening test first, check her temperature every morning, and lead the class while wearing a protective mask.
This condition causes people who have been in isolation for several months to feel anxious and fearful of going outside again.
The speed and strength of any economic recovery may be less than anticipated because many fear the risk of a rebound in infections. American consumers account for approximately 70% of the country’s economic activity, so any percentage less than a full recovery in spending would force many companies to close permanently, deepening the financial pain for the 39 million people who have lost jobs. in the last two months.
49% of Americans approve of how President Donald Trump is managing the economy, according to the survey. That approval has decreased in the past two months, from 56% in March. Still, the number is still relatively positive for Trump, whose overall approval rating is 41%.