Canadians agree on the severity of the coronavirus and to the extent that China is to blame

The study found that there is a cross-partisan consensus among Canadians on the virus' severity and the necessity social-distancing measures.

Canadians appear to be united around the COVID-19 pandemic in a way that we haven't seen as a nation in possibly decades, as per a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto and McGill University.

The study found that regardless of what one's particular politics were, there was a cross-partisan consensus amongst Canadians that the virus posed a serious threat and that the social-distancing measures are necessary, according to CTV News.

Unlike the United States' population, which is quite polarized on the issue, especially when it comes to lockdown measures, Canadians agree with the sacrifices that need to be made in order to reduce the amount of harm that would come from refusing to cooperate with the measures.

The research involved taking data from Google search trends, MP's social media accounts and opinion surveys.

The survey part of the study was conducted between March 25 and March 31.

"We know that public opinion tends to become polarized on highly salient issues, except when political leaders are in consensus," said co-author Aengus Bridgman on Monday during a press release.

Bridgman is a doctoral student in political science at McGill. "In the United States, there appears to be political and public polarization on the severity of the pandemic," he added.

The study showed that Canadians of all political beliefs hold the same opinion when it comes to the severity of the virus, and they hold a more or less similar opinion when it comes to lockdown measures. The study surveyed about 2,500 people.

The research also showed that there aren't really any MP's on social media who are downplaying the severity of the pandemic, whereas in the United States, many politicians are.

When in comes to who Canadians most blame for the outbreak it was found that Conservative respondents were more likely to place blame on Prime Minister Trudeau, whereas that number was only 15 per cent amongst Liberal respondents. More commonly all around however, 47 percent of Canadians blamed the pandemic on the Chinese government.

Researchers said that public consensus was vital to effectively ending the pandemic.

"Avoiding polarization is essential for an effective societal response to the pandemic," said co-author Taylor Owen, who is an associate professor at the Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill.