Earlier this week we created a simple one-question survey (with an option for comments at the end) that asked Huntsville area parents to share their perceived Covid-19 risk level. Full disclosure: we straight up stole the categories from this infographic and accompanying article.
We did this for a couple reasons which we explained in the earlier post but the unforeseen benefit of this experiment has been that the overwhelming response (we thought we’d be lucky to get 100 surveys) allows us to better gauge where our community currently sits in terms of social distancing and how comfortable they are with the reopening of our area. This in turn helps us make better choices about what content to cover.
Our one-question survey
As you can see in the above graphic approximately 55% of these families are still being really cautious. This group is staying home, leaving only for work, essentials, and outdoor exercise. They are not spending time with anyone outside of their immediate family. Another 33% are somewhat open and are beginning to socialize with others again but are wearing masks and saving their hugs for those that they know well and who they believe are being as cautious as them. Finally, a little more than 10% of those surveyed rated themselves as moderately open regularly socializing with others, not social distancing, and not wearing masks.
Who are these people?
Now, before anyone else can say it, let us be clear that while we are no social scientists we are well aware that a survey of RCM readers isn’t fully representative of the Huntsville community at large. It’s not even representative of the Huntsville parenting community (gasp!). As much as we would LOVE to have every parent in Huntsville reading our site, we know that’s not the case.
We have around 50K visitors each month of which about 90% are in the North AL area and that’s definitely not everyone who lives here. It’s important to realize when reading these results that based on what little demographic information we’ve collected over the years we know that our readers are largely female (90%), between the ages of 24-54 (80%), and generally have at least one child under the age of 12 in the home. So it’s safe to assume that’s who answered our survey.
In addition to the poll answers, we received about 100 comments – roughly 10% of those surveyed left a comment. Many were short and sweet (e.g. “Love your site.” or “Keep up the good work.”) and we appreciate those so much. It’s always nice to hear positive feedback. Scattered amongst those comments were also lots of longer insights into what local parents are thinking and feeling right now. We’re sharing here not to invite more feedback but to let everyone see what we are seeing. We found it useful, we think you will too.
Note: These are in no particular order and we did our best to choose a representative sample.
-I love the guidance for things as they’re reopening! We are moving to the area next week from NY where it still feels very much like a war zone. I’m looking forward to giving my sweet kids some fun experiences in AL since they have missed even being able to hug their friends goodbye up here.
-Kids need socializing now. Even distancing, it would be great to go to an activity, see other kids, talk, run, laugh. It’s been very stressful.
-Supporting anything but safer separated is scientifically unsound and will reap death for some. This is wrong and unChristlike.
-I will be excited when your posts about activities and events are posted! We can’t live in fear forever.
-I think there’s no problem with sharing info and if people don’t want to go out, then don’t, and if they do, good for them.
-I appreciate you guys letting us know what’s opened, what’s closed and ideas to do while stuck at home with kids. People that want to go out will and people that don’t won’t. Please keep letting us know what is open so if we choose to get out we can.
-Supporting reopening comment looked odd. I feel it was too soon to open and of course the number of the new cases per day has been increasing. I feel so frustrated to see anything celebrating reopening, which is so irresponsible and selfish. I don’t want to see anything related to excitements for reopening stuff. I think that’s is crazy.
-I think you owe it to the events and organizations in town to show they have options right now, even if it’s against what I want to do for my family. Ideally anything local is taking into account safety measures. Sharing fun stay at home ideas is awesome too. Or any stories about neighborhood fun social distance style. You are doing great, and you’re going to have negative no matter what you do. When things are so divided, that’s bound to happen.
-You can’t make everyone happy. There is a huge spectrum here for what people are going to be comfortable with. You shouldn’t be expected to post one side or the other. For example, I would be semi comfortable with my kid playing on a playground with other kids but I wear a face mask and use hand sanitizer when I got out. But I have a husband with a compromised immune system. It is a slippery slope. I want to believe a lot of what is on the news but I have a hard time taking all of it as truth. Maybe I’m a little braver because I have worked publicly through the entire shut down.
Finally, thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the survey and to share their thoughts with us. We are working now on plans for how to best serve the distinct needs of ALL of our readers. While we do so, we also want to remind each of you that we are always open to constructive comments and feedback and welcome new ideas for content we might not have covered yet.
You Might Also Like…
Rocket City Mom is a website about raising children in and around Huntsville, Alabama. Started in late 2010 by a local mom and newcomer to Huntsville, Rocket City Mom has grown into a thriving community of local parents and now boasts a staff of four, thirteen regular contributors, and tens of thousands of Tennessee Valley readers making it the #1 Parenting Resource in North Alabama.