What Scares You More: COVID-19 or Economy? Jimp Readers Sound Off in Survey on New Normal

PAGE 1 Survey photo
Most of those responding to a Jimp reader survey this week say they are either staying home or wearing a mask when they go out. Photo credit: Texas Tribune

By BOB PALMER
Jimplecute News Editor

JEFFERSON – Although Texas Gov. Greg Abbott allowed gyms and bars to reopen this week, Jimplecute readers, responding to an unscientific survey, said they aren’t rushing to embrace the new normal.

More than 60 percent of those answering the survey said they still stay at home for the most part.

Another 34 percent said they are going out more than they did during the shelter in place order but wear face masks and maintain social distancing.

Only 6 percent said they had gone back to life the way it was before COVID-19 struck.

Respondents were asked what they missed the most from their pre-COVID-19 lives.

“I miss my friends and going out,” one said, “also, I’ve been crushed financially.”

Not wearing masks,” another quipped.

“I miss church,” a lady observed.

“Hugs,” was one cryptic reply.

Missed several funerals of friends, we’re huggers,” a woman said. “We know what it is to lose somebody. Love to see babies in our church.”

Freedom was on the minds of several.

“To be free to go in and out,” one characterized it.

Freely see friends and family,” another said.

A Hoax?

Respondents were asked if they thought the COVID-19 panic was a hoax or was it a deadly pandemic.

The verdict was overwhelmingly in favor of the real deal.

Eighty-one percent of Jimp readers said they knew COVID-19 was a deadly virus.

“We lost a family member last Friday to COVID-19,” a reader revealed. The relative lived in Kentucky.

Still, 19 percent said the fuss was all a hoax.

“They never should have closed the country,” one man said.

Looking to the future, a wide variety of views were expressed about what life would be like this fall or next year.

“Back to normal, I hope,” one replied.

“Way worse than this time,” another commented. “We are opening too soon.”

“It’s going to be chaotic as leaders continue to misstep,” a third said.

“In the fall, we will likely be trying to lock down again or at-risk folks will be expected to protect themselves,” one said. “In a year there should be a vaccine and we will start recovering from an economic depression.”

“I am really hoping people will retain some of the hygiene practices,” a nurse noted. “I think we were slipping in our practices.” She also hoped businesses would continue to support best hygiene practices.

“Scary,” was a terse response.

What Worries You?

The Jimp asked readers if they worried more about COVID-19 or the economy.

The answers came back an almost even split.

While 47 percent said the COVID-19 pandemic was the fear on the top of their minds and another 28 percent were concerned about the economy, 25 percent said they were worried about both the virus and the economy.

“I’m not really worried,” one man replied.

Bob Palmer is a journalist with over 50 years experience as well as a publisher and managing editor.  He was named the 2020 NETPA Journalist of the Year for weekly newspapers and has won numerous Associated Press and Texas Press Awards.  He can be reached by Bob@Jimplecute1848.com.

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