Poll – Almost Half of Canadians Expect COVID-19 Pandemic to Worsen

Vancouver (Research Co.) – Canadians hold a gloomier view of the COVID-19 pandemic than they did two months ago, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 46% of Canadians think the worst of the COVID-19 outbreak is “definitely” or “probably” ahead of us, up 11 points since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in June. The proportion of Canadians who think the worst of COVID-19 is “behind us” dropped from 49% in June to 37% in September.

On a regional basis, British Columbians are more likely to believe that the worst of the pandemic lies ahead (61%) than residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (50%), Alberta (45%), Quebec (44%), Ontario (40%) and Atlantic Canada (42%).

Nine-in-ten Canadians (90%) agree with two regulations that have been in place for weeks: keeping the border with the United States closed to non-essential travel, and placing all travellers arriving to Canada into a mandatory 14-day quarantine or isolation period.

Public support is also extremely high (85%) for requiring all customers or visitors entering an indoor premise to wear a mask or face covering while inside. When Research Co. posed this same question to Americans this month, 90% were in favour of this guideline.

A majority of Canadians (51%) agree with allowing K-12 students to go back to in-class learning in their province, while two-in-five (42%) disagree.

Satisfaction with the way provincial governments have handled the COVID-19 pandemic fell by six points since late June to 69%. The rating remained at 83% in British Columbia, but fell in Ontario (68%, -8), Quebec (67%, -2) and Alberta (57%, -5).

Just under two thirds of Canadians (64%, -6) are satisfied with the way the federal government has managed COVID-19. The rating is the same (64%, -6) for municipal governments.

There has been an extraordinary increase in the proportion of Canadians who say they are wearing a mask every time they go out. This month, 70% of Canadians say they are behaving this way, up from 48% in late June and just 14% in May.

“Women are more likely to be wearing a mask every time they go out (75%) than men (65%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Canadians aged 18-to-34 are also more observant of this practice (74%) than their counterparts aged 35-to-54 (70%) and those aged 55 and over (66%).”

More than seven-in-ten Ontarians (81%), Quebecers (73%) and Albertans (71%) say they are always wearing masks outside. The proportion is lower for residents of Atlantic Canada (65%), British Columbia (56%) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (53%).

A third of Canadians (33%, -7) say they clean the groceries they buy to prevent infection, and 22% (-1) are not ordering food from restaurants at all because they fear infection.

Almost one-in-four Canadians (23%, -6) say they are overeating or eating more than usual at home. The figures are stable on Canadians drinking more at home (17%, -1) and losing their temper more often (15%, -1).

Across the country, three-in-four Canadians (74%, -1) say they are willing to take a vaccine against COVID-19 if one ultimately becomes available.

Almost Half of Canadians Expect COVID-19 Pandemic to Worsen

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