ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – While New Mexicans prepare for an incremental reopening of the state’s economy, some want to see business move full steam ahead while the virus runs its course.
That anecdote is according to the results of a recent KRQE News 13 online poll showing roughly 30% of respondents feel the state should “definitely” or “probably” “open-up all the way and let COVID-19 just run its course.”
More than 3,300 respondents answered the question in the online poll which was open for less than 24 hours between Wednesday, May 6 and Thursday, May 7.
Addressing the same reopening-related question, roughly 70% of respondents said the state should “probably not” or “definitely not” open-up all the way and let COVID-19 run its course.
Based on the results Thursday, KRQE News 13 contacted several respondents at random to better understand their answers. “I think if we open it up, wide open, we’re going to be in a disastrous situation,” Rob Lunn of Santa Fe told KRQE News 13 in an online interview.
“Life’s too important, I mean yes, our time’s going to come eventually, but I don’t want to just say, ‘oh well, who cares, let’s just let it run its course’” said Rita McClelland of Albuquerque.
By the end of next week, the state is looking to allow non-essential retailers to open their storefronts to the public at reduced capacity along with restaurants and bars which will also likely be subject to reduced capacity regulations. Gyms, salons, houses of worship and hotels are also expected to reopen in some capacity by the end of next week if the state pushes forward with the “phase one” plan.
KRQE News 13 called more than 20 random survey respondents Thursday. Of the 11 people who spoke over the phone, no one endorsed the idea of a “full reopening.” Many people expressed concern over the economic fallout businesses are feeling, but also expressed serious concern about what COVID-19 will do if everything goes “back to normal.”
“I understand that more people are going to get sick and I understand, unfortunately, more people will die, but if we just open it up and overwhelm the health care system… we’re shooting ourselves in the foot,” said Tom Burris of Roswell. A small business owner in Las Vegas, New Mexico, Frank Leger said, “we don’t want this to get worse, it’s bad enough as it is, but and we don’t want it to get worse.”
Some protests have emerged in response to New Mexico’s public health orders over the last few weeks, including one at Civic Plaza in Albuquerque. Some participating in the action argued that it is their right to operate a small business, even through a pandemic.
New Mexico Coronavirus Resources
- Tracking Coronavirus in New Mexico
- COVID-19 Projections: when will coronavirus be over?
- Trendline Charts: New Mexico Coronavirus Cases by County, by Day
- COVID-19 Testing Sites
- FAQ: New Mexico’s Public Health Emergency Order due to COVID-19 (amended April 30)
- Essential & Non-Essential Business Operations
- Phone numbers, websites to know during COVID-19
- Donate Blood
- Job changes due to coronavirus – Here’s what you need to know
- Jobs: These businesses are looking to hire due to coronavirus
- How to help during coronavirus
- Resource for New Mexico Seniors
- New Mexico School Meal Sites