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Canadians Might Continue Social Distancing After Restrictions Lifted

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Raise your hand if you can’t wait to return to “normal”? Most of us are excited at the prospect; however, a new poll reveals that most Canadians will continue social distancing measures even after restrictions are lifted. Perhaps the idea is “better safe than sorry”.

The numbers were broken down as following: eleven percent of participants of the COVID-19 poll stated they would “immediately” go back to living their normal lives once physical distancing restrictions were lifted, while an overwhelming 71 percent stated they would wait until no new cases of the coronavirus emerged for two weeks before heading back to their “normal” lives. Meanwhile, 17 percent refused to head back to regular if there was no vaccine. Lastly, many across the Great White North believe that re-opening the country is something that probably won’t happen for a while, with 77 percent of participants relaying that it is far too early to even begin relaxing social distancing restrictions, as well as business closures.

When should the country re-open? Approximately 15 percent of the participants stated at the end of April, while 46 percent relayed May or June. Twenty-eight of those who participated in the poll believe social distancing restrictions should occur somewhere between July and October, while a mere 9 percent think that there shouldn’t be a lift on restrictions until a COVID-19 vaccine is available.

There’s also a concern around the spread of COVID-19, with 70 percent of participants worried about giving the virus to others, versus the 30 percent who are worried about getting sick on their own right. In fact, the numbers around people worrying about getting the virus has decreased overall by 12 percent.

The good news is that many are following the social distancing restrictions well across the country with 82 percent of Canadian respondents stating that they are only leaving their homes for essentials like medicine and groceries, and 52 percent are going outside only for exercising purposes.

Other interesting stats of the poll revealed that 22 percent of participants were essential workers, and 18 percent of those surveyed still made (socially distanced) visits to family members, neighbors, and friends. Eight percent of participants hand not left the house at all, with one percent disregard health official warnings all together, and still go out whenever (and wherever) they have pleased.

But, what do respondents believe the priority is when it comes to re-opening up Canada? Public health or economy? Thirty-nine believe both factors should be weighed in, while 52 percent think the focus should be health, and nine believe it should solely be based on the economy.

The online poll was conducted this past April 15 to 17, and gathered random sampling of just over 1,900 adults in Canada that are Angus Reid Forum members.

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