COVID-19: Americans Say Opening of Churches and Retail Stores Are Top Priorities


As the fight against the deadly Coronavirus pandemic continues around the world, many countries have had their citizens sit at home under stay at home orders in order to prevent a further spread of the virus. However, a significant percentage of American citizens believe some of the restrictions should be lifted.

Scott Rasmussen conducted a survey of 1,200 registered voters from April 9-11 to discover what Americans want to focus on opening first during re-opening efforts once the lockdown ends.

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At the top of the priority list for many Americans was returning to small group gatherings with friends. Half of those surveyed said that people should be allowed to gather in each other’s homes in small groups immediately.

Churches and retail stores were tied for second on the list of priorities. Thirty-five percent said that churches, religious gatherings, and retail stores should open immediately. There were some partisan differences in these numbers, though. Forty-seven percent of Republicans believed re-opening religious services should be a top priority, compared to twenty-nine percent of Democrats.

Rasmussen believes the re-opening of retail stores is possibly related to the difficulty families are having finding items that they need. He said that many people “have experienced difficulties obtaining needed supplies during the pandemic–everything from food to health care items. Opening retail stores may be seen as a way to help address these concerns.”

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Schools came in just below stores and churches. Thirty-one percent believed that schools should be a top priority. Only twenty-one percent believed that restaurants and bars should open right away. Finally, only fourteen percent thought that governments should prioritize opening major league sporting events and stadium concerts, according to Christian Headlines.

Rasmussen reasoned that citizens seem to be “interested in the broader questions of re-opening society, rather than narrow concerns about the economy.” He found in recent research that while thirty percent said loss of income was the biggest impact they have felt from the COVID-19 pandemic, twenty-three percent said their biggest impact has been “boredom, depression, and isolation.”

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President Trump recently announced plans to gradually re-open the economy last week. The plan he said, will re-open the country in three phases. In announcing his intention to see the country get back to business, he said, “To preserve the health of our citizens, we must also preserve the health and functioning of our economy. Over the long haul, you can’t do one without the other. It cannot be done. To keep vital supply chains running, they have to be taken care of. The balance is delicate. We want to deliver food and medical supply. We must have a working economy, and we want to get it back very, very quickly. And that’s what is going to happen. I believe it will boom.”

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