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Some Canadians ignore COVID-19 rules as Metro Vancouver sees weekend of parties, gatherings

Last Updated Aug 17, 2020 at 7:02 am PDT

(L) Group gathers on Granville Street, (Top R) drum circle on English Bay, (Bottom L) crowd at Wreck Beach (Screenshots)

An Angus Reid survey finds nearly one-in-five Canadians are choosing to disregard most COVID-19 safety precautions

Videos posted to social media show a number of gatherings and parties in Metro Vancouver despite a rise in cases

Health officials

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — While the pandemic is far from over, it seems some people are done taking it seriously.

An Angus Reid survey has found nearly one in five Canadians aren’t putting in the effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Dubbed “Cynical Spreaders” by Angus, this group is expanding social circles, ignoring physical distancing measures, and isn’t as keen on handwashing and mask wearing. They also express a dislike for the way public health officials and political leaders have responded to the pandemic.

Age is a major factor in who is or isn’t following COVID-19 protocols, according to the survey which says younger Canadians are less likely to follow public health recommendations for the virus.

This comes after Metro Vancouver saw a number of gatherings and pop-up parties held in defiance of health authorities, who just days earlier had warned of consequences for not following the rules.


Public health officials have been growing stern in their warnings to party-goers, especially younger generations, for gathering in large groups despite the recent rise in cases. Ahead of the weekend, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix warned crackdowns could be expected for indoor parties and gatherings.

But their words aren’t sinking in for some.

Videos posted to social media over the weekend show impromptu parties on Granville Street on Saturday. Police did move in to break up a gathering, but video shows that another party assembled there just a few hours later.

A large drum circle also formed at Wreck Beach, though it does seem some beachgoers were trying to maintain their distance.

Last week, B.C. saw the highest three-day daily total since April, as active cases continue to rise in the province. Dr. Bonnie Henry also presented modelling data reconfirming a “rapid increase” in cases among people younger than 40, especially those in their 20s.

Premier John Horgan even tried recruiting Ryan Reynolds and Seth Rogan to encourage younger people to take COVID-19 precautions seriously.