One-in-five Canadians ignoring pandemic protocols – Poll

'Cynical Spreaders’ disregard most safety precautions, view public health officials negatively

Are you doing your part to keep COVID-19 in check?

An Angus Reid survey suggests one-in-five Canadians is making little or no effort to stop the spread.

Age and political affiliation appear to be the most significant factors – younger Canadians less likely to follow recommended protocols and past Conservative Party voters four times more likely to be cynical about them.

Analysis of the data places Canadians into three broad categories in a measure of their behaviours and mindset, known as the COVID Compliance Index.

The Infection Fighters follow virus suppression behaviours carefully and comprise nearly half the population (47%). The Inconsistent represent just over one-third of Canadians (36%) and take a more half-in, half-out approach to flattening the curve. The remaining one-in-five (18%) are Cynical Spreaders who have expanded their social circles, don’t physically distance and are ambivalent towards handwashing and mask-wearing. This last group also professes a clear dislike for the way public health officials and political leaders have handled the pandemic.

After suffering some of the worst effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, Ontario residents self-report more adherence to preventative behaviours, and are most likely to fall into the Infection Fighter segment of the population on the COVID-19 Compliance Index. More than half of Ontarians are in this most vigilant group. Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are home to the highest percentages of Cynical Spreaders, with three-in-ten residents in each province falling into this segment, based on their own self-reported behaviours