A new survey shows most local residents plan to wear masks as they inch back into the reopening community, but few people expect life to return to normal anytime soon.
As Arizona gradually lifts its stay-at-home orders, more than 71% of those surveyed said they feel unsafe or very unsafe around others, even with social distancing practices still in effect, according to the latest Arizona Daily Star Community Pulse poll.
More than 95% of respondents said they plan to protect themselves with face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer or other safety measures when they leave their homes. More than 87% said they would at least wear a mask when they go out.
Just over half of respondents said life won’t return to normal in Arizona until there is a COVID-19 vaccine, while 14% think the worst is already behind us and it’s time to get back to business.
The poll was conducted by NuPOINT Opinion Research, which surveyed 975 members of the Star’s Community Pulse panel between May 15 and May 20. Participants included newspaper readers and other members of the community ranging in age from 18 to 85 or more. The single largest group surveyed were retirees over the age of 64.
The results suggest many Southern Arizona residents aren’t ready to dive back into the local economy just yet.
“Science is what’s going to win the day”
Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik said he has been hearing the same thing from constituents, friends and family members.
“People are concerned that we’re going to fling the door open and invite a surge in new infections,” said Kozachik, who recently wrote an op-ed in the Star arguing against lifting the stay-at-home order in Arizona.