Alonzo Weston

We went to Red Lobster Saturday afternoon for my wife’s birthday. In earlier times that statement would mean little. But in the context of reopening during the coronavirus pandemic it can be seen as extraordinarily brave (like sticking your head in a lion’s mouth) or just as stupid.

The restaurant did practice social distancing with tables more than feet apart and no patrons sitting near each other.

Sometimes I forget to wear a face mask and because of my allergies I sometimes rub my eyes or my nose, both cases as risky as a high-wire act in these times.

I’m also over 60 and diabetic, which supposedly makes me a high-risk candidate for catching the virus. Stupidity might add to the risk as well.

However there are some things I’m not comfortable with, such as going to a bar, movie or sporting event. I drink my beer at home, watch Netflix and sports documentaries like the “Last Dance” and play sports video games. conducted a survey last month asking people what they are comfortable doing in our new world.

More than 6,100 people responded to the survey, answering questions like: Would you go to the movies? Would you get a haircut? Would you hug your parents? Would you go to the beach? Would you go back to the office?

Republicans were more willing to get back to normal than those who identified as Democrats, often by margins of 20 to 30 percentage points, according to the survey. Democrats were twice as likely as Republicans to answer a question with “I don’t know.”

Men were more likely than women to pick yes, as in “Yes I will do this thing.”

Young people from ages 18 to 24 were more likely to say yes to getting back to doing things they used to do in the “before” times.

When asked if you would return to the office if allowed, 37% answered yes, 43% said no and 20% said I don’t know.

Laura from Illinois answered, “If my office allows us to return to work, I assume that means work form home is no longer allowed, therefore I would need some sort of child care, whether I felt it was safe or not. Likewise with schools I don’t have the luxury to choose not to send my children to school if schools reopen.”

When asked if you would go shopping in person at a nonessential business, 41% of respondents answered no, with 42% saying yes and 17% saying I don’t know.

A woman identified as Margaret from Massachusetts responded to this question by saying, “I’m already shopping in person at liquor stores. if I can do the mental gymnastics required to call that essential, I expect I’ll be able to go to a nonessential business like my local bookstore once it opens.”

When asked if they would go to for a routine doctor or dentist check up, 61% said yes, 23% said no with 16% saying I don’t know.

We’re all somewhere on the spectrum between yes and no about re-entering society again. One thing I believe is certain things won’t be like it they used to before before the pandemic.

Hello new world.

Alonzo Weston can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPWeston.