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

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Alert Bay: COVID-19 cases go from 30 to zero thanks to health and emergency planning

Dr. Cutfeet says community leadership set Alert Bay up for success

Kwakiutl First Nation cautiously eases restrictions around COVID-19; Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw to remain locked down for now

Both First Nations near Port Hardy have no COVID-19 cases, and are prioritizing community safety

Pacific Coastal Airlines will resume service next month

‘We are pleased to confirm that we will be resuming scheduled service on June 1, 2020’

MP Rachel Blaney feels low-income boost for seniors falls short, but is pleased with the support for commercial fishers

‘Seniors in our communities have been asking for help with additional costs due to COVID-19’

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

82% of all test-positive COVID-19 cases in B.C. have recovered

B.C. had 303 active cases as of Saturday, May 23

Most Read