I think it’s fair to assume that everyone is looking forward to returning to normal life. While no one is certain when that will be, Colorado is easing into phase two of the coronavirus response in the next couple of days—allowing Coloradans to patronize businesses like retail and personal services (think: hair salons, tattoo parlors, and pet groomers) while practicing strict social distancing precautions. (The City and County of Denver and other metro area counties have extended their stay-at-home orders through May 8, so openings for businesses in these communities can happen after that date.)
Although restaurants and bars will remain closed for the time being—apart from curbside and to-go orders—Gov. Jared Polis also plans to revisit opening restaurants later this month when more data is available. The hope is that these businesses will give Colorado’s economy the boost it needs without increasing our total number of cases or overwhelming our hospital systems. “I want to reiterate this is not, in any way, going back to normal,” Polis said in a press conference last week. “It’s how we can have a sustainable life in May, and very likely with modifications, beyond.”
While Coloradans are eager for some normalcy, many are understandably still hesitant to visit shops, get a haircut, or meet with personal trainers. Last week, before the state’s stay-at-home expired, we asked our Instagram followers if they feel comfortable patronizing these businesses. The responses indicate that despite the governor’s assertion that reopening some businesses will bolster the economy, the reality might be a lot more complicated. Here’s what our readers said:
Will you receive a salon service?
YES: 40 percent (1,374)
NO: 60 percent (2,026)
Will you shop at a retail business?
YES: 36 percent (1,244)
NO: 64 percent (2,173)
Restaurants aren’t open yet, but could be in the coming weeks. Would you dine at your favorite restaurant if it were open?
YES: 29 percent (982)
NO: 71 percent (2,395)
Do you feel comfortable ordering takeout?
YES: 89 percent (3,220)
NO: 11 percent (412)
Will you go to the dentist?
YES: 38 percent (1,341)
NO: 62 percent (2,231)
Will you go to a personal trainer?
YES: 13 percent (459)
NO: 87 percent (3,112)
Will you be getting a tattoo?
YES: 6 percent (214)
NO: 94 percent (3,387)
Tell us: How do you feel about the state’s safer-at-home guidelines? Are you planning to visit some of these newly reopened businesses? What changes need to be in place in order for you to feel safe venturing out again? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.