Travis Road Ahead
Travis Road Ahead

Pulse of Concord — Surveying COVID-19 issues and aspects

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Some 469 individuals responded to my independent survey on COVID-19, making it one of the larger samples recently.

While the results speak for themselves, I did some “crosstab” sorting to see if there were variation in responses based on ZIP Code, or whether they knew someone who was infected or lost their job, etc. All sorting came back within 4-5 percent variation – well within what might be called the margin of error.

Burkin Electric

I also included a non-COVID question that was identical to a recent “scientific” poll of 1,000 Concord residents, and the response was nearly the same. So I believe the respondent pool is a fair representation of the local communities.

Judging from the responses, there is overwhelming support for the way the locals handled the shelter-in-place but the Feds stunk. Meanwhile, the results show we are going to face some serious consumer issues when it comes to going forward with things like sports events in the fall and pessimism looking into next year.

Veronice Gomez State Farm
Veronice Gomez State Farm

We also seem to have a consistent 20-30 percent minority view on just about anything. However, they are not a consistent group across the questions, which shows that nearly all of us are at times in agreement and in disagreement with each other. That’s encouraging, as it means we can draw upon those things that we agree on to avoid increasing division amongst us.

The next survey will be focused on police and race at

East Bay Regional Parks
East Bay Regional Parks

Here are the COVID results

  1. Do you know someone personally (friend/family/casual) who you believe has had the COVID-19 virus?
  • 65 percent, no.
  • 15, yes – 1.
  • 8, yes – 2.
  • 6, yes – 3-5.
  • 2, yes – more than 5.
  • 4, do not know.
  1. Do you know a friend/family member who has lost their job because of COVID-19?
  • 30 percent, no.
  • 21, yes – 1.
  • 23, yes – 2-3.
  • 24, yes – 4 or more.
  • 4, do not know for sure.
  1. During March-April, I supported the actions of the local government (county/city) for shelter-in-place orders.
  • 49 percent, strongly agree.
  • 22, agree.
  • 4, neither agree nor disagree.
  • 6, disagree.
  • 5, strongly disagree.
  • 7, very strongly disagree as this was a violation of my Constitutional rights.
  • 6, still have very mixed feelings.
  1. I supported the month of May’s shelter-in-place order in Contra Costa.
  • 43 percent, strongly agree.
  • 22, agree.
  • 5, neither agree nor disagree.
  • 12, disagree.
  • 8, strongly disagree.
  • 10, very strongly disagree as this was a violation of my Constitutional rights.
  • 1, cannot make up my mind.
  1. I would go to a regular major sports arena (football, basketball, baseball) in September that had no special distance restrictions.
  • 10 percent, strongly agree.
  • 10, agree.
  • 10, neither agree nor disagree.
  • 16, disagree.
  • 35, strongly disagree.
  • 2, do not care.
  • 16, do not go to sports events regardless.
  1. Landlords who get a postponement of their mortgage payments (basically extending the mortgage by the months not paid) should have to do the same for the tenants that they have – in effect pushing the lease out a month for each month not paid.
  • 38 percent, strongly agree.
  • 31, agree.
  • 14, neither agree nor disagree.
  • 7, disagree.
  • 6, strongly disagree.
  • 4, have no idea.
  1. Have you been tested for the COVID-19 virus?
  • 8, yes and was negative.
  • 1, yes and was positive.
  • 1, yes and waiting for results.
  • 3, do not want to answer.
  • 89, no.
  1. I support the way the state of California government has handled the COVID-19 crisis.
  • 32 percent, strongly agree.
  • 29, agree.
  • 8, neither agree nor disagree.
  • 12, disagree.
  • 18, strongly disagree.
  • 1, have no idea what they have done or are doing.
  • 1, do not live in California.
  1. I support a freeze on rent increases for residents for the period June 1 going forward as below:
  • 41 percent, through Dec. 31.
  • 2, through Nov. 30.
  • 2, through Oct. 31.
  • 3, through Sept. 30.
  • 2, through July 31.
  • 3, through June 30.
  • 18, as long as any kind of restriction is in place.
  • 15, no freeze.
  • 6, too complicated to figure out.

Comments: “I ran from Communists; they should go to Russia” (forgetting that Russia is no longer Communist for the last 31 years). “For as long as renters are out of work and need it.” Plus a few expletives implied.

  1. I believe the shelter-in-place should be removed and left up to individuals and the businesses to deal with what restrictions they want to self-impose.
  • 20 percent, strongly agree.
  • 14, agree.
  • 8, neither agree nor disagree.
  • 22, disagree.
  • 32, strongly disagree.

Comments: “This is how the Patriot Act was imposed by Natzies (sic) and now by U.S. government to impose and force its will on people.” “Economic impact evaluation needs to be understood.” “We should follow the 4 stages outlined by Gov. Newsom.”

R&M Gardens
  1. The no eviction order should be removed.
  • 9 percent, strongly agree.
  • 10, agree.
  • 12, neither agree nor disagree.
  • 23, disagree.
  • 28, strongly disagree.
  • 9, not sure.
  • 2, do not care.
  1. Have you received a waiver or postponement of your rent/mortgage/car payment during this crisis ?
  • 5 percent, yes.
  • 92, no.
  • 3, not going to tell you.
  1. The city and county are paying between $3,000 and $4,000 a month per room to house and feed homeless in 153 rooms in Concord (around half a million dollars a month). This is acceptable for as long as there is a shelter-in-place.
  • 16 percent, strongly agree.
  • 25, agree.
  • 16, neither agree nor disagree.
  • 17, disagree.
  • 26, strongly disagree.
  1. Non-U.S. citizens should receive medical aid and be covered by shelter-in-place aid (such as housing if homeless).
  • 23 percent, strongly agree.
  • 28, agree.
  • 14, neither agree nor disagree.
  • 16, disagree.
  • 20, strongly disagree.
  1. I approve of the way the federal government has responded to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • 6 percent, strongly agree.
  • 17, agree.
  • 12, neither agree nor disagree.
  • 19, disagree.
  • 45, strongly disagree.
  • 1, do not know
  • 1, do not care.
  1. In the 1918-’19 Spanish Flu pandemic, the following winter was substantially worse than the outbreak’s first six months. Do you believe that the winter of December 2020-February 2021 will be substantially worse than the last six months?
  • 10 percent, yes – strongly agree.
  • 12, yes.
  • 19, somewhat think that it will be worse but not sure how much.
  • 31, could go either way, not very sure.
  • 5, somewhat think that it will be more like what we have already gone through.
  • 6, no – it will be better than now.
  • 5, no – strongly think it will be substantially better than now.
  • 3, no – will not be a problem at all.
  • 9, have no clue whatsoever.
  1. Do you believe that the government and media reaction to the pandemic was excessive and overstated the severity of the crisis?
  • 24 percent, yes – strongly agree.
  • 13, yes.
  • 11, neither agree nor disagree.
  • 25, no.
  • 26, no – strongly disagree.
  1. Thinking of the economy in 2021, what is your feeling of how it will be?
  • 21 percent, better.
  • 19, about the same.
  • 47, worse.
  • 12, do not know.

While Edi Birsan is a mild-mannered City Council member at times (very few times), this is his personal survey for the last 10 years and is not associated with the city of Concord or any other organization and represents his views and not that of anyone else, including Dr. Fauci. Write to him at or go to his Facebook page, Pulse of Concord. To take part in a future survey, go to

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