Photo by Anastasiia Chepinska on Unsplash.

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Most of us… are not ready to loosen restrictions

As Canada eases into a second month of non-essential business closures, a number of provincial leaders have turned their attention to reopening the economy.

Despite this urge, a recent poll finds that the majority of Canadians have anxieties over easing up on current measures.

The report produced by Leger in partnership with the Association for Canadian Studies, includes responses from a sample size of adults 18 years of age or older, on attitudes and behaviours surrounding COVID-19.

It found that only 6 per cent of adults would feel comfortable with the government lifting restrictions on workplace and leisure activities.

Of those willing to wait, 21 per cent said that they don’t want things to return to normal until there’s a vaccine available, 29 per cent said we should wait until there have been no new cases for two weeks, and 25 per cent said restrictions shouldn’t be lifted until there are no sporadic cases. A further 19 per cent said we should wait until pressure on the healthcare system has reduced.

Latest federal projections show that it could be mid-summer before the first wave of the pandemic is over. And while researchers across the world are racing to find a vaccine, it could still be 18 months from now until they’re successful.

The poll also shows that Canadians seem committed to obeying public health measures as 98 per cent of respondents said they are social distancing. The majority of individuals, however, said that they wouldn’t snitch on someone who wasn’t. Forty per cent said they would report someone who wasn’t following public health rules. That number was higher in the Atlantic provinces (50 per cent) and Quebec (48 per cent).

Comparatively in the U.S., where there’s been more COVID-19 related deaths reported than any other country, survey data shows behaviour that’s a little more careless.

The report found that the rate of people disregarding public health measures was significantly higher for our southern neighbours at 46 per cent compared to Canada at 26 per cent.