fog.png
Thursday May 28th, 2020 10:18AM

AP-NORC poll: Many in US won't return to gym or dining out

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Much of the country remains unlikely to venture out to bars, restaurants, theaters or gyms anytime soon, despite state and local officials across the country increasingly allowing businesses to reopen, according to a new survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

That hesitancy in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak could muffle any recovery from what has been the sharpest and swiftest economic downturn in U.S. history. Just 42% of those who went to concerts, movies, theaters or sporting events at least monthly before the outbreak say they’d do so in the next few weeks if they could. Only about half of those who regularly went to restaurants, exercised at the gym or traveled would feel comfortable doing so again.

About a quarter of Americans say someone in their household has lost a job amid that downturn, and about half have lost household income, including layoffs, pay cuts, cut hours or unpaid time off. The majority of those whose household suffered a layoff still believe they will return to their previous employer, but the share expecting their job will not return has risen slightly over the past month, to 30% from 20%.

Amber Van Den Berge, a teacher in Indiana, held off on immediately returning to her second job as a fitness instructor. She would need to pass a test for COVID-19, get her temperature checked each morning and lead class while wearing a protective mask.

“Wear a mask to teach a fitness class? I’m not ready for that,” said Van Den Berge, 39.

The speed and strength of any economic rebound could be thwarted because many fear the risk of new infections. Consumers make up roughly 70% of U.S. economic activity, so anything less than a total recovery in spending would force many companies to permanently close and deepen the financial pain for 39 million people who have lost jobs in roughly the past two months.

Forty-nine percent of Americans approve of how President Donald Trump is handling the economy, the poll shows. That has slipped over the last two months, from 56% in March. Still, the issue remains a relative positive for Trump, whose overall approval rating stands at 41%.

Trump has at times downplayed the threat of the coronavirus and the benefits of testing and has criticized the leadership of Democratic governors. Meanwhile, many Democratic lawmakers have insisted on the importance of containing the disease and sustaining the economy with federal aid.

Greg Yost, a Republican from Rockaway, New Jersey, says he wishes the president would defer more to medical experts, rather than speak off the cuff. But he added that he thinks Trump believes he must defend himself against personal attacks.

“He’s between a rock and a hard place,” Yost said.

But ShyJuan Clemons, 45, of Merrillville, Indiana, says Trump has made the fallout from the pandemic worse by initially denying its dangers and failing to display much empathy for those hurt by the coronavirus.

“Even my cat knows that he’s terrible,” said Clemons, referring to his 14-year-old Siamese mix, Shinji.

Clemons works with special needs people and worries about his hours if Indiana -- starved of tax revenues because of the disease -- cuts its budget.

But it also shows how an atmosphere of political polarization may be feeding both an eagerness by some to return and a reluctance by others to resume their previous lifestyles.

Among those who did so at least monthly before the outbreak, Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to say they’d go to restaurants (69% to 37%), movies, concerts or theaters (68% to 28%), travel (65% to 38%) and go to a gym or fitness studio (61% to 44%).

Sixty-nine percent of those who regularly shopped in person for nonessential items before the outbreak, including majorities among both parties, say they’d be likely to wander malls and stores again. But Republicans are more likely to say so than Democrats, 82% to 61%.

Yost expressed no qualms about going out because he believes the economic damage from shelter-in-place orders will be worse than the deaths from the disease.

“What’s going to happen with depression, homelessness -- a lot of other problems are going to arise because we shut down the economy?” said Yost, a vice president of operations at an insurance agency. “I would go to a restaurant and feel comfortable with my kids and not even have masks on.”

Still, there's an exception to the partisan divide, with 76% of Republicans and 69% of Democrats who get haircuts on at least a monthly basis saying they’d do that in the next few weeks if they could.

The poll finds an overwhelming majority of Americans, 70%, describe the economy as poor, but their outlook for the future is highly partisan. Sixty-two percent of Republicans expect improvement in the coming year, while 56% of Democrats say it will worsen.

At the same time, two-thirds of Americans say their personal finances are good, which has remained steady since before the outbreak began.

Many families have been able to survive the downturn because of aid such as direct payments to taxpayers and expanded unemployment benefits that will expire in July.

Mitchell Durst, 74, has watched the job losses from the sidelines as a retired mathematician in Keyser, West Virginia.

He was already cautious about going out because of a compromised immune system from cancer treatments. The disease stopped his weekly poker game. He lived through the polio crisis, dealt with gas rationing during the 1970s and worked in Nigeria during the Ebola scare.

He calculates the United States will need to be patient about an economic comeback.

“Until we have a vaccine, particularly for those folks at risk, it’s going to be awhile,” Durst said. “If we get something in two years, if we’re so fortunate to be able to do that, I think that would be fantastic.”

___

The AP-NORC poll of 1,056 adults was conducted May 14-18 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.

___

Online:

AP-NORC Center: http://www.apnorc.org/.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Business, AP Business - Careers, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
AP-NORC poll: Many in US won't return to gym or dining out
Much of the country remains unlikely to venture out to bars, restaurants, theaters or gyms anytime soon, despite state and local officials increasingly allowing businesses to reopen
8:00AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Recording Academy records John Prine song for charity
The Recording Academy has released a new recording of John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery” with proceeds going to support the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund
7:35AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Loughlin, Giannulli to plead guilty to college bribes scheme
“Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are preparing to plead guilty to cheating the college admissions process under a deal that calls for both to spend time behind bars
7:00AM ( 1 hour ago )
U.S. News
Mayor: Pakistan plane crashes near Karachi, all 107 killed
The mayor of Karachi says a Pakistani passenger plane carrying 107 passengers and crew and belonging to state-run Pakistan International Airlines has crashed, killing everyone on board
7:56AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Virus accelerates across Latin America, India, Pakistan
The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating across Latin America, Russia, India and Pakistan even as curves are flattening and economies start to reopen in much of Europe, Asia and the United States
7:51AM ( 23 minutes ago )
World shares slide, spooked by China moves toward Hong Kong
Shares are down in Europe and Asia, led by a nearly 6% decline in Hong Kong after communist leaders in China proposed legislation Friday that could limit opposition activity in the former British colony
7:49AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump lashes out at scientists whose findings contradict him
President Donald Trump has been lashing out at scientists whose conclusions he doesn’t like as he pushes to reopen the country during the coronavirus crisis
6:17AM ( 1 hour ago )
Hong Kong opposition slams China national security law move
Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers are sharply criticizing China’s move to take over long-stalled efforts to enact national security legislation in the semi-autonomous territory
6:06AM ( 2 hours ago )
China boosts spending but no big steps for virus-hit economy
China’s top economic official has promised higher spending to curb soaring job losses but no massive stimulus on the scale of the United States and Japan for its coronavirus-battered economy
3:21AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP National News
The Latest: Spain says lockdown put hotel occupancy at 'nil'
The latest report from Spain’s National Statistics Institute makes grim reading for the country’s tourism sector
6:05AM ( 2 hours ago )
UK's COVID-19 study aims to vaccinate more than 10,000
British researchers testing an experimental vaccine against the new coronavirus are moving into advanced studies and aim to immunize more than 10,000 people to determine if the shot works
5:38AM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Staff quarantined over slaughterhouse virus toll
The owner of an abattoir in the eastern Netherlands says that health authorities have placed all 600 staff in home quarantine for two weeks after 45 workers tested positive for the coronavirus
5:11AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
Nearly 39 million have lost jobs in US since virus took hold
The U.S. government says the number of Americans thrown out of a job since the coronavirus crisis struck two months ago has climbed to nearly 39 million
10:52PM ( 9 hours ago )
Tech giants are embracing remote work. Others may follow
For a preview of the future of office work, watch how the biggest tech companies are preparing for a post-pandemic world
4:56PM ( 15 hours ago )
China lawmakers gather as doubts swirl over pandemic safety
China is convening its biggest political gathering and President Donald Trump has said he is considering holding the Group of Seven summit in June as doubts simmer over how safe is safe enough with the pandemic still not under control
2:27AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Careers
China to boost defense spending by lowest rate in years
China will boost defense spending by the lowest rate in years as it battles an economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus outbreak
11:30PM ( 8 hours ago )
China promises funds to help economy, sets no growth target
China’s top economic official has promised higher spending to revive its coronavirus-battered economy and curb surging job losses
11:23PM ( 8 hours ago )
The Latest: South Korea reports 20 new virus cases, China 4
South Korea has reported 20 new coronavirus cases, including nine in the Seoul metropolitan area, as authorities scramble to stem transmissions while proceeding with a phased reopening of schools
10:56PM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
FBI says Texas naval base shooting is 'terrorism-related'
The FBI says a shooting at a Texas naval air station that wounded a sailor and left the gunman dead is being investigated as “terrorism-related.”
11:30PM ( 8 hours ago )
Stocks end lower on Wall Street as US-China tensions weigh
Stocks are ending lower on Wall Street as tensions flared again between the U.S. and China and as more dismal news came out detailing economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic
4:05PM ( 16 hours ago )
Fed's Powell says economic forecasts filled with uncertainty
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says efforts to forecast the recovery path of the U_S_ economy out of the current deep downturn face “a whole new level of uncertainty.”
3:43PM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Business - Financial Markets
Man who filmed Arbery shooting video charged in his slaying
The Georgia man who filmed cellphone video of the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery has now been charged with murder
7:50AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Recording Academy records John Prine song for charity
The Recording Academy has released a new recording of John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery” with proceeds going to support the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund
7:35AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Loughlin, Giannulli to plead guilty to college bribes scheme
“Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are preparing to plead guilty to cheating the college admissions process under a deal that calls for both to spend time behind bars
7:00AM ( 1 hour ago )
In virus chaos, some find solace, purpose in helping others
Digital fundraising campaigns
2:54AM ( 5 hours ago )
San Francisco sanctions once-shunned homeless encampments
San Francisco is joining other U.S. cities in authorizing homeless tent encampments in response to the coronavirus pandemic, a move officials have long resisted but now reluctantly embrace to safeguard homeless people
2:33AM ( 5 hours ago )