Many Americans Won't Return to Gyms or Dining Out: Poll

Jacquie Cadorette
May 24, 2020 - 12:58 pm

With state and local officials gradually allowing businesses to reopen, many are still choosing to stay home despite the ability to go work out or eat at a restaurant, a new poll finds.

The Associate Press NORC Center for Public Affairs Research conducted a survey to see if people were still feeling inclined to leave their homes, opting for at-gym workouts or in-restaurant dining experiences.

While 42% of Americans want to return to their monthly habits of heading to concerts, movies, theaters, or sporting events, only about half of those who frequented restaurants and gyms would return any time soon.

The survey also showed that about a quarter of Americans know someone in their household who has lost a job due to the pandemic. That number jumps to about half when you include pay cuts, cut hours, or unpaid time off.

Many simply aren't ready to head back to their normal lives with the caveat of a face mask involved. Fitness instructor Amber Van Den Berge told the Los Angeles Times that's she's putting off going back to work. "Wear a mask to teach a fitness class? I'm not ready for that," she explained.

The country's willingness to return to normal lies in the hands of those who fear risking another spike in infections.

However, with gyms and restaurants on the shelf for many for now, 69% have said they would return to nonessential shopping trips at malls and stores. Many have also expressed an interest in getting their hair cut in the coming weeks.

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