Some Canadians seem hysterical over COVID-19, poll shows

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on April 15, 2020

COVID19 is a severe issue, and every country should be taking reasonable precautions to avoid unnecessary social gatherings and non-essential forms of work that require in-person social interactions. It seems though that the response to COVID19 has become a relatively black and white issue to many.

Many other publications have highlighted a Leger poll finding that a majority of the respondents want “significant progress in the fight against COVID-19 before they would feel comfortable” which is notable but didn’t emphasize the more interesting findings and conclusions that may be drawn from the rest of Leger’s poll questions

One poll question asked Canadians, “Do you intend to report to the authorities any behaviour that goes against the measures put in place to fight COVID-19?” to which 40 percent of respondents answered yes.

The COVID19 pandemic seems to have made Canadians warier of the activity of others around them, and with 40 percent feeling the need to report the smallest infraction, paranoia may be playing a role in the public’s response to the health crisis.

Another odd finding in the poll found that 65 percent of respondents answer yes when asked, “Do you think the current situation in the United States will have an impact on the propagation of the virus in Canada?” despite the US-Canada border currently being shut to everything excluding trade.

Only 19 percent of US respondents answering the same question, in regards to Canada, said we would harm the propagation of the COVID19 virus in their country.

On the question that most other publications put the most emphasis on the answers might have more profound implications that most others had perceived.

The specific question being referenced reads, “At what point will you be comfortable with the government lifting the restrictions on workplace and leisure activities and allowing Canadians to return to work?” 

To this question, 21 percent of Canadians said they would not feel comfortable until a vaccine was created. Another 29 percent of Canadians said they wouldn’t feel comfortable until “there have been no new cases for at least two weeks,” and another 25 percent said they would feel comfortable when only sporadic cases are being discovered.

The results from this question seem to be of a potential lack of context, as a vaccine is estimated to take 12-18 months to be in a form set for mass use, and the time it may take for only sporadic cases of COVID19 to be popping up may take several more months to reach.

There were other poll questions asked about the respondents’ opinions of the Canadian government’s $82 billion stimuli, or whether or not masks are helpful in the prevention of COVID19, which had far more predictable results with most Canadians being in the middle of the issues.

If the results of the Leger poll can be assumed to be generally accurate, Canada may have an issue with overblown concern over COVID19, the virus is a danger, but Canadians may still be under the impression that the pandemic is worse than it is in reality.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

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