FILE - In this March 3, 2020 file photo, empty shelves for disinfectant wipes wait for restocking, as concerns grow around COVID-19, in New York. New polls from Insights West and the Angus Reid Institute, released on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, show Canadians’ increasing concerns about COVID-19 are leading to behaviour changes, such as stockpiling. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

FILE - In this March 3, 2020 file photo, empty shelves for disinfectant wipes wait for restocking, as concerns grow around COVID-19, in New York. New polls from Insights West and the Angus Reid Institute, released on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, show Canadians’ increasing concerns about COVID-19 are leading to behaviour changes, such as stockpiling. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

COVID-19 concerns ‘spike’ in B.C. leading to ‘significant’ behaviour changes: poll

Insights West poll says 28 per cent of B.C. respondents ‘stocking up on home necessities’

As COVID-19 gets upgraded to a pandemic, new polls show overall concern about the virus has spiked, leading to behaviour changes such as stockpiling and delaying travel plans.

According to results from a new Insights West poll, which surveyed 814 B.C. residents between Mar. 3 and Mar. 9, more than half (55 per cent) said they felt “very” or “somewhat” worried about the virus, up from 47 per cent in February.

ALSO READ: B.C. records first COVID-19 death in Canada as province hits 32 cases

In a news release on Wednesday, the marketing research firm said mounting concerns have been translating to “significant” behaviour changes over the past several weeks, with the majority of respondents reporting washing their hands more often (78 per cent), touching their face less often (61 per cent) and avoiding shaking hands or touching other people (55 per cent).

Around one-third of respondents also reported buying or using hand sanitizer (36 per cent) and stocking up on home necessities (28 per cent), while only a small number (13 per cent) reported wearing face-masks.

ALSO READ: B.C. care providers say masks, medical supplies ‘drying up’ due to COVID-19 concerns

Just under one-third of respondents reported visiting restaurants (24 per cent), stores and malls (23 per cent), and gyms and pools less often (18 per cent), and 16 per cent reported working from home more often.

When it came to travel, about one-third (31 per cent) of respondents said they were delaying a trip they had already planned and 13 per cent said they had already cancelled a trip. Most (62 per cent) said they felt COVID-19 will have a negative impact on their future travel plans.

Half (50 per cent) of respondents said they believed the virus will have a “major negative impact” on the Canadian economy and 65 per cent said the same of the global economy.

“This heightened level of awareness and concern about COVID-19 has had a significant effect already on the perceptions, actions and behaviours of B.C. residents,” Insights West president Steve Mossop said. “Overall, citizens are scrambling and making significant changes in their day-to-day lives around cleanliness, activities that involve crowds, and their purchasing behaviours.

“Most concerning is the high level of worry about the impact on the travel industry, and the Canadian and the global economy. As recent stock market gyrations have indicated, the repercussions could be significant.”

ALSO READ: Stocks slide on Wall Street over coronavirus and oil crash

ALSO READ: Bank of Canada cuts key rate to 1.25% amid coronavirus concerns

A new Angus Reid poll of 1,512 Canadians, also released on Wednesday, showed similar results, in addition to findings about confidence in governments and health care.

The poll, conducted between Mar. 5 and Mar. 6, found that 40 per cent of respondents were worried about personally becoming sick from COVID-19, and 30 per cent would not attend a concert or sporting event, or even go to an airport.

The poll also found half (49 per cent) of respondents thought the Trudeau government had done a good job of handling the crisis, and nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of those in B.C. said the Horgan government had done a good job, too.

The majority of respondents (58 per cent) continued to report confidence in the ability of their community health care system to deal with new cases of the virus, however, this represented a drop from 63 per cent who said the same last month.

ALSO READ: B.C. warns of phone scam offering to sell fake COVID-19 testing



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Charlie Fox was leading as of 9 p.m. with five of six main polls and one advance poll reporting. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
UPDATED: Fox expected to become new Langley school trustee

With all but the mail-in ballots counted, Fox was being acknowledged as the winner

Jay Corkum and Meghan Rodger filled up several bags with discarded trash from a vacant lot on 198A Street near 72nd Avenue near the Willoughby Heights home on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Tackling trash: Langley family cleans up vacant lot

‘I said, well, let’s take a couple of hours out of our Saturday’

One car suffered extensive front end damage in a Saturday afternoon crash southbound on 200th Street near the 88th Avenue intersection (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Crash on 200th Street near 88th Avenue in Langley ties up traffic

One person sent to hospital, vehicle suffered extensive front-end damage

An image of some of the townhouses planned for the Latimer area in south western Willoughby around 199th Street and 75th Avenue. (Township of Langley/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Township council approves almost 400 more housing units for Langley

Apartments, houses, townhouses, and duplexes are coming to the Latimer area

Langley School District’s board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
Our View: No vote, no complaining

If you aren’t going to vote in the byelection, we hope you aren’t interested in local politics at all

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Alina Durham, mother of Shaelene Bell, lights candles on behalf of Bell’s two sons during a vigil on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO and PHOTOS: Candlelight vigil for missing Chilliwack woman sends message of hope

Small group of family, friends gathered to shine light for 23-year-old mother Shaelene Bell

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

Judith Uwamahoro is Black, approximately 4’7″ tall, 80 pounds and has short black hair and brown eyes. (Surrey RCMP handout)
UPDATED: Lower Mainland 9-year-old located after police make public plea

Judith Uwamahoro went missing Friday at around 4 p.m. in Surrey

Five-year-old Nancy Murphy wears a full mask and face shield as she waits in line for her kindergarten class to enter school during the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Variant of concern linked to COVID-19 outbreak at three Surrey schools

Cases appear to be linked to community transmissions, but schools will remain open

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Most Read