Pandemic poll: San Antonians are most looking forward to returning to these activities

People miss friends, restaurants, working out, according to a new Bexar Facts poll

SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s note: Hear more about the new Bexar Facts-KSAT12-Rivard Report poll by tuning into our livestream at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday on, where anchor Steve Spriester will break down the results with local experts. More stories about the poll will follow.

What’s the one activity people in San Antonio are looking forward to the most when stay-at-home orders are lifted? According to a new Bexar Facts-KSAT-Rivard Report poll, people want to be with friends and family more than anything else.

The poll was released Tuesday through a partnership between Bexar Facts, KSAT12 and The Rivard Report.

Likely Bexar County voters were asked the following open-ended question: “Once the stay-at-home order has been lifted, what is the activity you are most looking forward to doing again?”

Twenty-six percent said they are most looking forward to socializing with friends and family.

Nearly three-quarters of the survey respondents said they have avoided spending time with family outside their household more often than they usually do with 60% saying they’re avoiding it “much more often” than before the stay-home orders were issued on March 23.

On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he would let his executive order expire as scheduled on Thursday, April 30. Starting on Friday, May 1, all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls in Texas would be allowed to open as long as they maintain only 25% occupancy and follow distancing guidelines, Abbott said.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said they would be making adjustments to the city and county orders after a meeting on Tuesday between the City Council and Commissioners Court. The leaders said their orders will comply with the governor’s changes but said public gatherings would still be limited.

In addition to socializing with friends and family, people are most looking forward to eating out and exercising, the poll found.

Starting Friday, people will be able to eat inside some restaurants, if their owners decide to open up the dining room with limited occupancy. As for hitting the gym, people will have to wait until at least May 18 when Gov. Abbott said he would allow them to open along with bars, barbershops and nail salons if COVID-19 numbers don’t spike with the first phase of openings.

The poll is the first public opinion measure conducted locally since the pandemic began and was the second of 2020 released by the Bexar Facts partnership. It was conducted from April 16 to April 20, about a week before Governor Greg Abbott announced his plan to allow many businesses to reopen by Friday, effectively superseding local ordinances.

The poll included responses from 668 registered Bexar County voters of different income and education levels, race, age, gender and political party affiliation. Four out of five respondents answered in English, while one out of five answered in Spanish. The poll’s margin of error is 4%.


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