More than 1-in-6 B.C. residents are COVID-19 skeptics, poll suggests
Published Tuesday, March 9, 2021 12:10PM PST
A used protective face mask is seen discarded on the ground in Vancouver in May 2020. (Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
VANCOUVER -- British Columbians who are not taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously are more likely to become distant from their friends and family, results from a new poll conducted by Research Co. suggest.
While 82 per cent of residents polled said they consider COVID-19 to be a threat, 15 per cent said they do not believe it's a real concern and three per cent were undecided.
The poll suggests naysayers were also more likely to criticize politicians, the media and shun their loved ones because of their views.
"British Columbia's pandemic skeptics amount to a tiny minority of the population, but there are some demographic pockets where these views are slightly more common," Mario Canseco, president of Research Co., said in a news release.
The province's skeptics typically involve a younger demographic and those who live in more remote parts of the province.
"The group includes 18 per cent of British Columbians aged 18 to 34, 29 per cent of residents of Northern B.C. and 26 per cent of residents of Southern B.C.," Canseco added.
The ongoing global health crisis has been a sticking point for many people's relationships with their family and friends.
Eighty-three per cent of those polled said they are satisfied with how their family members have managed the pandemic, while 73 per cent said they were pleased with how their friends have been handling it.
On the flip side, 16 per cent of respondents across the province said they unfollowed a person on social media because of a disagreement related to COVID-19. Thirteen per cent said they ended communication with a friend and eight per cent said they stopped talking to a family member because of their differing views.
Although, the survey results for the same question were significantly higher among those who said they do not consider COVID-19 to be a real threat.
Thirty-two per cent said they unfollowed a person on social media, while 26 per cent stopped talking to a family member and 25 per cent ended communication with a friend because of a disagreement related to the pandemic.
Those more skeptical also responded with lower levels of satisfaction with how the provincial government (14 per cent) and the federal government (13 per cent) have handled the coronavirus pandemic.
The online poll was conducted from March 1 to 3 among 800 adults in B.C. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.