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

Friends surpise recently married couple with COVID-19 friendly reception on Pitt Meadows street

Anastasija and Joshua Davis saw shattered plan turns into a reception many will never forget

Lack of education playing role in Fraser North students missing out on mental health services

2018 B.C. Adolescent Health Survey notes students do not know where to turn to for help

School District 42 provides update on continued learning plan

Superintendent Sylvia Russell says staff will be in touch with Ridge Meadows students and families

LETTER: Upset by province’s stance against Lower Mainland hospice

Vocal Maple Ridge anti-MAiDs advocate opposes cancelling of contract with Delta facility

LETTER: Pandemic a little surreal for this guy

One day soon, COVID-19 will simply be a footnote: one Maple Ridge reader

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read