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Many Canadians believe worst is yet to come in COVID-19 pandemic: poll

Last Updated Dec 1, 2020 at 2:06 pm PDT

FILE - COVID-19 testing. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Summary

Many Canadians say they think the worst of the pandemic is still to come

Poll finds increase in negative outlook when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic

Many Canadians say they support travel restrictions as COVID-19 cases continue to trend up

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Despite B.C. recording its deadliest COVID-19 numbers yet, many people think the worst of the pandemic is still ahead of us.

With no guarantee for when the health crisis will end, people increasingly are feeling grim about growing case and death toll numbers in this country, according to a poll from Research Co.

Pollster Mario Canseco says a lot has changed in just a few months.

“It started to get a little bit better when it came to the way Canadians perceived this COVID-19 pandemic in the summer. But now, we’re back to the level we had a couple of months into the lockdown. So, definitely, the views of many Canadians are turning sour,” he tells NEWS 1130.

The survey has found that 64 per cent of Canadians polled believe “the worst of the pandemic is ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ ahead of us.”

That, Canseco notes, is an 18-point increase from September.

“I think it’s a combination of factors. We are heading into the end of the year, the holiday season. We might be in a situation where it’s going to be difficult to get together with family. When we were first asking about this back in March and April, you saw a lot of people who expected this crisis to last five or six months, maybe seven months,” he says.

“The idea that we were going to be heading into, probably, a second lockdown in some parts of the country right before the holidays was not something that was fathomable for a lot of Canadians, but now seems to be something that could be happening fairly soon.”

Meanwhile, Research Co. has also found many Canadians are in favour of staying put.

Restrictions on travel

Canseco says there’s been consistent support when it comes to dealing with travel.

“Ninety-two per cent say it’s a good decision to keep the border with the United States closed to non-essential travel, 90 per cent saying everybody who travels into Canada has to go into a mandatory quarantine.”

In addition to that, Canseco says 82 per cent of respondents are in support of prohibiting non-essential travel between provinces, while 75 per cent say they’d endorse limiting travel within their province.

“The level of support for something like this is quite high and it’s really not something that I expected to see. I thought it was going to go, maybe, 50/50. The holidays are coming, people don’t want to say that they would be happy curtailing travel plans. But now that we see the magnitude of the situation, the number of cases, there are definitely more Canadians who say let’s not even travel from within our own provinces because the spread hasn’t been contained yet.”

When it comes to how the federal government has been handling the health crisis, British Columbians showed the highest level of satisfaction out of the four most populous provinces.

And as we wait patiently for a vaccine, more than 70 per cent say they’ll definitely or probably get one as soon as they’re able to, not marking a significant change from what was seen in the last survey.