A new Ipsos poll shows that while Canadians believe that measures such as social distancing would help slow the spread of COVID-19, not everyone is willing to exercise them, according to Global News.
The Ipsos poll was conducted after Prime Minister Trudeau's speech urging Canadians to "go home and stay home" still, one in four Canadians admitted to not practicing the social distancing measures as much as they could.
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister was asked whether there are any further measures he could implement in terms of punishment to enforce social distancing, “Unfortunately we do see that there are some people who are not choosing to follow these instructions,” said Trudeau.
“We continue to impress upon everyone that we need to do what is necessary to get through this as quickly and safely as possible. We will continually work with cities and jurisdictions on measures they may feel are necessary.”
The Premiers of both Ontario and Alberta gave press conferences to lay out the projections of the virus for their respective provinces and the number of potential deaths should have been unsettling enough to keep people quarantined. However the issue does not lie with people not understanding the message as much as the message isn't changing their behaviour.
Of the Canadians who were surveyed:
95 percent of Canadians say they believe social distancing will slow the spread of COVID-19.
72 percent of Canadians feel the health care system won't be overwhelmed.
63 per cent of Canadians believe that people are taking social distancing seriously.
37 per cent of Canadians do not believe that people are taking social distancing seriously.
26 per cent of Canadians admitted that they are not following the social distancing measures.
Within that 26 percent of Canadians not taking social distancing seriously:
19 per cent were over the age of 55.
27 per cent were aged 35 to 54.
32 per cent were aged 18 and 34.
The report has to make room for the fact that some of the people who are negating the social distancing measures might also be essential workers who are not able to abide by the new protocols, said Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos.
However some, he said, may just feel they are above the law, “There’s people who will have ideological predisposition to not think that government should be having this much control over our lives,” he said.
“I would expect it’s those two groups of people: the larger probably being the people who feel that they’re doing their best to avoid the situation, but because of the work or other responsibilities, they are incapable of living up to what they see as the standard.”
Senior citizens run the highest risk of dying from coronavirus however the virus has taken casualties in their 20s and 30s as well. The World Health Organization states that about 10 to 15 percent of people that get infected under the age of 50 will only face moderate to severe symptoms.
Any Canadians returning home from travelling abroad are legally required to enter self-isolation for a period of 14-days upon arrival, the same protocol is issued for anyone who tests positive. They are not to stop for groceries or go outside for exercise.
The Quarantine Act makes these protocols legal requirements, however questions have been circulating as to how law enforcement and public officials can actually enforce such policies.
A couple on Vancouver Island refused to self-isolate upon landing from international travel but have faced no penalties so far regarding their refusal.