Are you ready to return to a gym, restaurant or hair salon?
As many B.C. businesses begin cautiously reopening under new provincial guidelines, a new survey suggests a significant number of potential customers and clients still feel apprehensive about returning to the services we took for granted not long ago.
Research Co. polled British Columbians on whether they'd return to a variety of different venues and locations before a vaccine is developed for COVID-19, and the results were a mixed bag.
Roughly half of respondents said they would go to the gym, and about 40 per cent said the same about sporting events or concerts.
"You can't have the Rolling Stones playing and then tell people to stay two metres away from each other," said Research Co. president Mario Canseco.
There was more support for heading back to bars, pubs or restaurants, however. Canseco said about 70 per cent of people would gladly do so before researchers have figured out a vaccine, and that the number was even higher among Generation Xers.
"If you're 35-54, you're more likely to say I'm ready to go to the pub tomorrow than if you're younger or if you're older," Canseco said.
"I think it has a lot to do with middle aged residents who are tired of being at home, taking care of kids, doing certain things and they need that escape right now."
People were similarly willing to use salons or libraries.
But there was more apprehension around taking public transit. Some 57 per cent of respondents said they would take the bus, and 55 per cent said they'd get back on SkyTrain. The rest said they would rather wait until there's a vaccine.
"It's a pretty high number," Canseco said. "You're essentially looking at two out of five residents who say they would not ride public transit right now."
Pollsters said there was a clear gender divide among the responses as well, with fewer women than men willing to return to every service or business on the survey.
"We definitely see women less likely to say that they're able to do things without having this COVID vaccine ready for us," Canseco said.
Research Co. polled 800 B.C. adults online from May 15 to 17 and weighted the data according to Canadian census figures. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.