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Most of us… do not believe the COVID-19 pandemic is exaggerated

As the national tally of COVID-19 cases soars into the thousands, a recent report finds the majority of the public believes that the pandemic is a real threat.

The study, published by Leger, a Canadian research and analytics company, found that while 77 per cent of Canadians feel the virus is something to fear, 20 per cent still believe the situation is being blown out of proportion. The poll suggests that 18-34 year olds were most likely to think the crisis is exaggerated at 27 per cent compared to 14 per cent of those aged 55 or more sharing that same belief.

Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque told Global News in an interview that those who weren’t taking the public health crisis seriously could jeopardize nationwide efforts. “That 20 per cent of people must go down if we want to collectively achieve the objectives of flattening out the curve,” Bourque said.

Governments have told the public to stay home and partake in social or physical distancing if they leave the house. This means avoiding gatherings and keeping 6 feet or 2 metres from others when possible. Travellers coming back from other countries have also been given orders to self-isolate in their homes for 14 days to prevent the spread of the virus.

Slightly more than half of survey respondents (64 per cent) said they would isolate for 14 days while seven per cent said they would not. An additional 29 per cent said they would self-isolate, but only part of the time.

So what are Canadians planning on doing this week? Sixty per cent said they would be going grocery shopping, 19 per cent said getting take-out from a restaurant and 15 per cent said they’ll get food delivered to their home or business.