How do Slate readers feel about revisiting businesses and participating in activities during the pandemic? If their state leadership allowed them to do something, would they?
Over 6,100 people of all political persuasions responded to a survey in late April. It’s not representative of the country but it’s nevertheless a large survey size. Here is a link to the results.
I’m not in the survey, but here are my selected responses…
Would you return to your office if allowed?
I don’t work in an office. I’m (currently) a substitute high school teacher. I’m certified to teach English in Massachusetts public schools for grades 5-12, and I’m actively applying to vacant teacher positions for the fall. In addition to in-classroom experiences, I’m also exploring online teaching.
I don’t know if K-12 schools will be open in the fall. If they are, I don’t know if I’d be asked to teach in a classroom of 20+ students, in a remote situation, or a combination. I also don’t know how effective it would be to teach English language arts (listening skills, public speaking skills, etc.) if the students and teacher are wearing masks.
Would you go shopping in person at a non-essential business?
Yes, though that’s situational on the type of business. If a retail store, for instance, offers curbside pickup for no additional fee then I’d prefer that.
Would you get a haircut at the barbershop or salon?
No. Not for the immediate future. I have an electric shaver and a pair of grooming clippers. I don’t think people will judge me if I have longer hair, as long as it’s presentable.
Would you go for a routine checkup at your doctor’s or dentist’s office?
I don’t know about routine checkups but I’d definitely go for urgent issues. And, I’d take advantage of telehealth options first.
Would you vote in person at your local polling place?
Yes. If voting by mail is not an option, then I’ll show up in person. Especially for this fall’s presidential election. Joe Biden needs as many votes as possible to oust the moron-in-chief.
Would you eat at a restaurant outdoors?
Yes, if I was there by myself or with family or close friends. But even then, I’d prefer that seats are six feet apart. I definitely wouldn’t want to eat with people I don’t know as well.
Would you eat a restaurant indoors with reduced seating?
Probably not. If American restaurants followed the initiatives of Hong Kong and if our local infection rates radically decreased, I’d strongly consider saying yes. Otherwise, I’ll say no.
Would you host a dinner (or a party) in your home?
No. My current apartment isn’t large enough to provide social distancing. That’s important to me. If viral conditions improve, I’d invite family.
Would you attend a dinner in a friend’s home?
No. I think an outdoor restaurant option would be safer. That assures a higher sense of security due to constant disinfection.
Would you see a movie in the theater with regular seating?
No. I’m a former member of MoviePass and Sinemia. I loved going to movie theaters. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel safe going back to crowded seating.
Would you see a movie in the theater with reduced seating?
I don’t know. It depends on so many variables that mostly revolve around community healthcare issues. If it opened up next month, no. In six months, maybe.
Would you attend an outdoor concert?
Probably not until the pandemic ends. The risk of potential infection from strangers is too great. Unless if it was in a large space with enforced boundaries. Definitely not stadium seating. Maybe lawn spaces.
Would you go on a date?
I’m single. I’d love to go on a date. If she’s okay with my insistence that we stay six feet apart until some unknown day in the future.
Would you go to the beach or a national park?
Yes, if social distancing is properly managed and respected. I live about 45 minutes from multiple ocean beaches. I also know several people with access to private beaches, so I might go there first.
Would you rent a vacation house?
Not unless the homeowner provided disinfecting wipes and sprays.
Would you fly on a commercial airplane?
I don’t know. I’d rather drive and tent camp. I have experience doing that. I guess I’d fly if social distancing can be maintained somehow without paying for first class. I’d freak out if I’m sitting inches away from strangers in all directions.
Would you visit elderly relatives?
My grandma lives in Colorado. I’m in Massachusetts. And this is where the airplane issue comes into play.
Would you shake a stranger’s hand?
No. Fist bumps and elbow bumps, sure.
Would you hug a friend?
I don’t know. Eventually, yes. But it’s too soon.