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1-in-5 Canadians making little to no effort to stop coronavirus spread

FILE. People wear face masks as they gather in a city park on Canada Day in Montreal, Wednesday, July 1 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Sexologist Jill McDevitt is likening the face mask debate to the condom debate from the past.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
August 17, 2020 - 11:20 AM

Messages aimed at reducing community spread of COVID-19 are reaching most of the intended audience, but a growing number of Canadians are starting to go their own way, according to a recent survey.

Non-profit Angus Reid Institute released new survey information today, Aug. 17, and using the data collected sorted Canadians into three broad categories in a measure of their behaviours and mindset, known as the COVID Compliance Index.

"Infection fighters" follow virus suppression behaviours carefully and comprise nearly half the population, with 47 per cent saying this is how they comport themselves. 

The "Inconsistent" represent just over one-third of Canadians, or 36 per cent, and take a more half-in, half-out approach to flattening the curve. The remaining one-in-five, or 18 per cent, is a Cynical Spreader who has expanded their social circles, don’t physically distance and are ambivalent towards handwashing and mask-wearing.

"This last group also professes a clear dislike for the way public health officials and political leaders have handled the pandemic," according to the Angus Reid survey.

Age is among the most significant factors in the COVID-19 Compliance Index. The younger Canadians are, the less likely they are to follow recommended protocols.

Political affiliation is also correlated with a person’s categorization in the Index.

"Past CPC voters are four-times more likely to be Cynical Spreaders than those who voted for the Liberal Party or New Democratic Party in 2019," reads the Angus Reid study.

More than nine-in-10 Infection Fighters are regularly wearing a mask when in contact with non-family members indoors. This drops to 63 per cent among the Inconsistent and just 15 per cent among the Cynical Spreaders.

Of 10 different COVID-19 spreading behaviours, (not washing hands, not social distancing, not wearing a mask, etc.) Infection Fighters are engaged in either one or zero. Three-quarters of Cynical Spreaders are engaged in five or more of these activities.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2020

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