Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.

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Most of us… are social distancing

While the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase day by day, the majority of Canadians are taking the situation seriously and changing their behaviour.

Data released this week from the Angus Reid Institute shows that 85 per cent of Canadians are staying away from people in public in comparison to nearly half (52 per cent) of respondents who were surveyed one week earlier. These findings come at a time when government has ramped up its efforts to reduce the spread of the virus. Federal and provincial governments have encouraged Canadians to do their part by social distancing, or physical distancing as we like to call it.

This means avoiding crowds, public spaces, keeping a two-metre distance from other people and staying home when possible. Those returning to Canada from other countries are also now required by law to stay at home for 14 days and isolate. The federal government recently launched a $30 million ad campaign try to inform Canadians on how they can engage in responsible behaviour.

And although respondents say they’ve been keeping their distance, 80 per cent believe it will be at least three months, if not longer before their lives are relatively back to normal.

This realization has been coupled with anxiety for 76 per cent who say the public health crisis will be impacting their financial situation. And as the pandemic progresses, the level of confidence in local healthcare systems has also dropped.

Of Canadians surveyed from Feb. 4-5, 63 per cent said they were assured by their community’s healthcare capabilities. Data collected from March 20-23 shows that number has decreased to 53 per cent.