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It's not you, it's everyone else, right? British Columbians rate themselves highly for social distancing: poll

Last Updated Apr 16, 2020 at 9:07 am PDT

FILE - A sign warns people to social distance and keep at least 2 metres apart from one another due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, as park rangers and others bike and walk on the seawall, in Vancouver, on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Summary

Most British Columbians surveyed have given themselves a high score for self-isolating amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Insights West finds many British Columbians are critical of others when it comes to physical distancing

British Columbians rate themselves highly despite multiple trips per week to the store or to run other errands

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It seems British Columbians are quite proud of themselves when it comes to efforts to stay isolated during the pandemic.

According to a new Insights West poll, the majority of respondents — 89 per cent — gave themselves either an eight, nine, or 10 out of 10 when it came to their own social distancing behaviour.

However, it turns out British Columbians are also quick to criticize others about physical distancing, with only four per cent of people giving others a perfect score.

“…Only 35% rate the rest of the Province as an 8, 9 or 10,” the poll results read. “Most of the other ratings are in the middle of the scale (47% rate a 6 or a 7), while the remainder (17%) give ratings of 5 or lower.”

British Columbians rate themselves highly despite multiple trips per week to the store or to run other errands, with Insights West finding the average person in this province has left their house 1.58 times this past week for errands, and 2.8 times to do other things like walk, exercise, or even for social meet-ups.

“It’s an interesting phenomenon that individually we think we are doing a good job in social distancing, but we don’t think our neighbour is doing the same,” Steve Mossop, president of Insights West, says in a release. “I believe public instances of shaming offenders — whether it be social media or news-driven, has given us the perception that we are doing worse as a society than what we are actually doing. However; I’m a bit surprised at the extent to which people are leaving their homes-clearly we can do a better job on this front.”

The survey has also found British Columbians tend to be more critical of younger people when it comes to following social distancing rules, with Insights West saying perceptions of levels of social distancing among young adults in B.C. is “abysmally low.” Only two per cent of respondents gave young adults a 10 out of 10 score, while 13 per cent gave them a score of eight or higher.

However, people within the 18 to 34 age bracket tend to not agree with these responses, with Insights West reporting this group actually rates its behaviour higher than the overall. Ninety-one-per-cent of respondents considered young adults gave themselves a score of eight or higher, with 42 per cent of them assigning themselves a perfect score.

The poll also finds British Columbians are doing more of certain things, like listening to the news (67 per cent more often), cooking (58 per cent), talking with family members (51 per cent), reading (45 per cent), and even sleeping (45 per cent).

Buying from local businesses is also up, Insights West says, at 34 per cent more often.

However, it looks like British Columbians are also spending less time on other things. Respondents say they’re spending less money (58 per cent are spending less), donating blood less often (24 per cent), and even having less sex (24 per cent).