Not too long ago, while you were stuck at home for weeks, rock-bottom airfares were alluring — until you realized that once you got to New York City, for example, there would be no theatres, restaurants, shops or events to enjoy.
In the first week of April, Americans spent more than 90% of their time at home – the peak of sheltering in place because of Covid-19. Now, there’s more to do in more places, as the nation’s states and cities begin or continue re-opening to varying degrees and with varying speed. Georgia, for example, was preparing to permit sporting events, summer camps and nightclubs to open at the beginning of June, while New York City was just welcoming Phase One in its reopening.
So, now that cities are opening, where would you like to go – and where can you go? The Washington Post examined people’s movements as they began to venture out of the homes in which they had sheltered for weeks. They spotted trends in visits to gyms, restaurants, fast food outlets, salons, theaters and more, using data accumulated by SafeGraph, which traced people’s movements through anonymously collected ”pings” on mobile phones.
The Post found that restaurants that offered dine-in service weren’t quite the attraction you might expect, while fast-food restaurants saw an uptick in business during the Covid-19 shut-down and even after reopening began.
Conversely, grocery stores, after a peak at the beginning of the pandemic, then a brief decline, enjoyed healthy business through the shut-down and as the country reopens, the Post found. Some of this, of course, may be attributable to the fact that groceries were dubbed essential businesses, and stayed open while other food providers, like dine-in restaurants, did not.
Not surprisingly, churches, movie theaters and gyms lost attendance during the pandemic, and remained closed in most states, though not all, according to the Post report.
As their communities reopen, many people look forward to going somewhere else. In fact 46% of Americans plan to travel as soon as the Covid-19 lockdown is over, according to a survey by Piplsay.
But as states reopen and travel beckons, health experts caution that people should maintain the preventative measures they adopted during the worst of the pandemic: wear face coverings in public, wash your hands and use hand sanitizer, and maintain social distancing. The threat of a surge in the virus this fall is still a major concern of medical workers.
And keep in mind that, just because a business is open and you CAN visit doesn’t mean you MUST visit. Make sure that your destination is practicing all Covid-19 preventing measures before you go. Take your time, and feel comfortable, before you venture out to the gym or your favorite eatery.