If you’re feeling pandemic fatigue, you’re not alone – and that could be part of the reason many Canadians are bending COVID-19 rules.
According to a recent survey from Insights West, rule-breaking and bending is occurring across the country. Thirty-two per cent of people surveyed believe breaking the rules occasionally allows them to stay happy and mentally healthy.
Taking it a step further, 28 per cent say they’re tired of all the rules and recommendations. Twenty-seven per cent feel the rules are confusing, 23 per cent feel they’re unnecessary and 18 per cent believe their health risk if they get COVID-19 is low, therefore they feel entitled to bend the rules.
“A few thousand infections a day does mean we’re still going to be in this perpetual state of this grey, kind of half-lockdown and Canadians as you’ve seen from our poll feel justified in continuing that path,” said Steve Mossop, president of Insights West.
But British Columbians are less likely to follow COVID-19 restrictions than other provinces.
"Maybe the most surprising thing is that British Columbia really lags the rest of the country," said Mossop.
Only 34 per cent of B.C. residents claim they are following all of the rules and regulations all of the time, which is 14 to 22 points lower than other regions. Compare that to 48 per cent of Alberta residents, 51 per cent of Ontario residents and 56 per cent of Quebec residents who say they follow all of the rules, all the time.
According to Mossop, Canadians "don’t see life returning to normal until the late fall or even into 2022, and we’re almost resigned to believing that and therefore justifying our behaviour.”
With spring break approaching, health officials across the country are adamant now is not the time to meet up with friends or family outside your household or take a trip.
But it appears many Canadians are contemplating bending or breaking the rules put in place by various provincial governments. Well over half of the people who participated in the poll say they plan to skirt the rules in some way, including an indoor visit with family members, driving to a vacation destination, or visiting relatives elsewhere in Canada.
"There's a long way to go to getting us to the point where we're not doing any of those activities," said Mossop.
Rule-breaking considerations are substantially higher among 18-34 year olds relative to any other age group.
The Insights West survey was conducted online from Feb. 3 to 7 among 1,614 Canadians. The margin of error is said to be plus or minus 2.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.