FILE - In this March 3, 2020 file photo, empty shelves for disinfectant wipes wait for restocking, as concerns grow around COVID-19, in New York. New polls from Insights West and the Angus Reid Institute, released on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, show Canadians’ increasing concerns about COVID-19 are leading to behaviour changes, such as stockpiling. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

COVID-19 concerns ‘spike’ in B.C. leading to ‘significant’ behaviour changes: poll

Insights West poll says 28 per cent of B.C. respondents ‘stocking up on home necessities’

As COVID-19 gets upgraded to a pandemic, new polls show overall concern about the virus has spiked, leading to behaviour changes such as stockpiling and delaying travel plans.

According to results from a new Insights West poll, which surveyed 814 B.C. residents between Mar. 3 and Mar. 9, more than half (55 per cent) said they felt “very” or “somewhat” worried about the virus, up from 47 per cent in February.

ALSO READ: B.C. records first COVID-19 death in Canada as province hits 32 cases

In a news release on Wednesday, the marketing research firm said mounting concerns have been translating to “significant” behaviour changes over the past several weeks, with the majority of respondents reporting washing their hands more often (78 per cent), touching their face less often (61 per cent) and avoiding shaking hands or touching other people (55 per cent).

Around one-third of respondents also reported buying or using hand sanitizer (36 per cent) and stocking up on home necessities (28 per cent), while only a small number (13 per cent) reported wearing face-masks.

ALSO READ: B.C. care providers say masks, medical supplies ‘drying up’ due to COVID-19 concerns

Just under one-third of respondents reported visiting restaurants (24 per cent), stores and malls (23 per cent), and gyms and pools less often (18 per cent), and 16 per cent reported working from home more often.

When it came to travel, about one-third (31 per cent) of respondents said they were delaying a trip they had already planned and 13 per cent said they had already cancelled a trip. Most (62 per cent) said they felt COVID-19 will have a negative impact on their future travel plans.

Half (50 per cent) of respondents said they believed the virus will have a “major negative impact” on the Canadian economy and 65 per cent said the same of the global economy.

“This heightened level of awareness and concern about COVID-19 has had a significant effect already on the perceptions, actions and behaviours of B.C. residents,” Insights West president Steve Mossop said. “Overall, citizens are scrambling and making significant changes in their day-to-day lives around cleanliness, activities that involve crowds, and their purchasing behaviours.

“Most concerning is the high level of worry about the impact on the travel industry, and the Canadian and the global economy. As recent stock market gyrations have indicated, the repercussions could be significant.”

ALSO READ: Stocks slide on Wall Street over coronavirus and oil crash

ALSO READ: Bank of Canada cuts key rate to 1.25% amid coronavirus concerns

A new Angus Reid poll of 1,512 Canadians, also released on Wednesday, showed similar results, in addition to findings about confidence in governments and health care.

The poll, conducted between Mar. 5 and Mar. 6, found that 40 per cent of respondents were worried about personally becoming sick from COVID-19, and 30 per cent would not attend a concert or sporting event, or even go to an airport.

The poll also found half (49 per cent) of respondents thought the Trudeau government had done a good job of handling the crisis, and nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of those in B.C. said the Horgan government had done a good job, too.

The majority of respondents (58 per cent) continued to report confidence in the ability of their community health care system to deal with new cases of the virus, however, this represented a drop from 63 per cent who said the same last month.

ALSO READ: B.C. warns of phone scam offering to sell fake COVID-19 testing



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Researchers at UFV looking into effects of pandemic on activity and mental health

Survey is online now to gather data from people of all backgrounds on physical activity changes

Cyrus Centre takes Easter dinner on the road for youth

Centres in Abbotsford and Chilliwack preparing to deliver meals to their youth and families

Abbotsford prison has confirmed COVID-19 case

Pacific Regional Treatment Centre is the third prison in B.C. in a week to confirm case

Fraser Valley Bandits hoping to pack punch with Jabs

Abbotsford-based CEBL team signs veteran guard Jabs Newby

UPDATED: Mission Institution has highest number of positive results for COVID-19

14 inmates test positive for coronavirus, more than any other federal prison in Canada

COVID-19 death toll reaches 50 in B.C., while daily case count steadies

B.C. records 34 new cases in the province, bringing total active confirmed cases to 462

Cancellations of plant orders prompt advent of pop-up garden shops

A Langley nursery is partnering with local eateries to sell 40 acres of veggie plants and flowers

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Reality TV show about bodybuilders still filming in Okanagan, amid COVID-19

Five bodybuilders from across the country flew to Kelowna to move into a house for a reality TV show

B.C.’s top doctor details prescription for safe long weekend

Yes, it includes hosting an online cooking show

BC SPCA seeks help for abandoned German shepherd puppies

Donations have ‘petered out’ as doors are closed due to COVID-19

Most Read