Over the past two months, we’ve all found new ways to communicate, new ways to work, and at times we have felt the pinch of isolation caused by social distancing as we work to keep ourselves and our families safe from the coronavirus.

Many of us know someone who has been furloughed from a job or laid off, or had their work hours reduced.

Our spending habits have changed. We shop less, dine out less, and we have shifted our recreation to binge-watching television series or renting movies on streaming services.

We’d be hard-pressed to admit we weren’t eager for things to return to normal, but at the same time acknowledging what that “normal” will look like is still kind of muddy.

With Gov. Kim Reynolds’ announcement Wednesday that many of the restrictions put in place statewide to slow the spread of COVID-19 would be lifted today, we came a step closer to finding out what that “new normal” will be.

West Des Moines-based SPPG + Essman Research recently released findings from a poll it conducted in April, asking Iowans a series of questions about their reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. The poll was conducted in two waves. The first was conducted April 6-10, when 709 Iowans 18 and older were surveyed. The second was conducted April 27-30, when 318 Iowans were surveyed.

Among its findings was that even after things begin to reopen, not all Iowans will be jumping to return to their pre-COVID lives. Here’s what they learned in percentages of people surveyed and the activities in which they won’t be comfortable participating:

  • 69% – attending indoor sporting events.
  • 66% – traveling on a plane.
  • 63% – going to movie theater.
  • 63% – going to the gym.
  • 60% – attending indoor arts/culture event.
  • 60% – attending large gathering.
  • 58% – going to a bar or winery.
  • 56% – attending religious activity or service.
  • 53% – dining out.
  • 52% – going to indoor shopping center or mall.
  • 50% – staying at a hotel.