A recently released report that is looking at how Americans are responding to COVID-19 has found that the majority of religious people are not in favor of returning to in-person worship anytime soon.
Conservative group the American Enterprise Institute has released the results of their survey, which show that 64 percent of Americans said they were “somewhat uncomfortable” or “very uncomfortable” attending in-person worship.
Even among those who reported their congregations offered in-person worship in the past week, 56 percent of respondents said they chose not to go.
Even as many churches and places of worship are reopening their doors to worshippers, a substantial number of their congregants express trepidation in returning. Only 36 percent of Americans, including 40 percent of Americans who belong to a religious tradition, say they would feel comfortable attending an in-person worship service.
Despite the hardships many parents are enduring by taking care of their children full time while trying to work, many express considerable discomfort about having them return to school or daycare. About one in four (24 percent) parents of children under age 18 say they would feel comfortable sending their child or children back to daycare or school. More than three-quarters (76 percent) say they would feel at least somewhat uncomfortable doing this, including half (50 percent) who say they would feel very uncomfortable with the prospect of their children attending school or daycare.
“People are equivocating and uncertain about whether they feel comfortable attending,” Daniel Cox told the Associated Press. “We’re seeing among laypeople a significant amount of discomfort in going back to formal in-person religious practices.”
Parents are more comfortable taking their children to the park or playgrounds. Four in 10 (40 percent) parents say they would be comfortable doing this with their children.
Five months before the 2020 presidential election, less than half (45 percent) of the public say they would feel comfortable going to their polling place to vote.
There are massive partisan differences in feelings of comfort that span nearly every activity type. Two-thirds (67 percent) of Republicans say they would feel at least somewhat comfortable going to a polling place to vote compared to 31 percent of Democrats. A majority (57 percent) of Republicans say they would feel comfortable eating out at a restaurant, while only 21 percent of Democrats say the same. Republicans are more than twice as likely as Democrats are to express comfort in going to get a haircut (63 percent vs. 27 percent).
While the coronavirus has left a major indent in the lives of people around the world, recent reports of virus rates show that we are far from past the danger zone. In fact, the danger the world now faces is becoming lax and believing the worst is behind us, especially as media has dropped off reporting on COVID-19 with such intensity.
Matthias Browning | Reporter