Canadians Trust Neighbours To Follow COVID-19 Rules. Americans, Not So Much.

Americans are also more likely to think the pandemic is “overblown,” says a new Angus Reid poll.
Canadians are confident their community is following pandemic rules — such as wearing masks — to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to a new poll.
Canadians are confident their community is following pandemic rules — such as wearing masks — to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to a new poll.
Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press

Canadians are more confident and less stressed out than Americans when it comes to stopping the spread of COVID-19, according to a new poll.

Half of Canadians said in an Angus Reid survey released Monday that they are confident their country will reverse its second wave of infections, compared to 42 per cent of Americans.

“Canadians are more bullish about the efforts of their neighbours to curb the spread of COVID-19,” Angus Reid’s report said.

Seven in 10 Canadian told the pollster they think people in their community are doing a good job with precautions. Less than half of American respondents said the same.

Watch: Canada vs. American’s COVID-19 response summed up in one photo. Story continues below.

Canadians also tend to be more cautious than Americans when it comes to social distancing, although both are trying to reduce their exposure to COVID-19. Americans are slightly more likely to feel comfortable going to live sporting events, airports and restaurants, but are less likely to go to malls.

The poll found 42 per cent of Americans think the health risks of the coronavirus have been “overblown,” compared to 26 per cent of Canadians.

Angus Reid surveyed 1,505 Canadians and 2,679 Americans between Oct. 20 and 22.

Canadians are less stressed

When it comes to pandemic-related stress, Americans are nearly twice as likely to be more worried than Canadians, the poll found. Forty per cent of Americans are either very or extremely stressed versus 22 per cent of Canadians.

It’s unsurprising that Canadians would feel less stressed about the pandemic, Angus Reid said. Last week, Canada reached the grim milestone of 10,000 coronavirus-related deaths, but the U.S. reported 230,000 deaths.

“This, as President Donald Trump insists the country is ‘rounding the corner’ and continues to flout restrictions at large political rallies ahead of Election Day this Tuesday,” said Angus Reid’s report.

While both countries deal with “staggering” unemployment levels, more respondents in the U.S. are “extremely concerned” about their personal finances than in Canada — 28 per cent compared to 12 per cent, the poll found.

This finding could be because Canadians who are unable to work because of the pandemic are still able to receive financial support through Employment Insurance. Americans have been left in the lurch as additional financial aid has been tied up in political negotiations for months.

However, people in both countries who make less than $50,000 a year are in a tough position, according to Angus Reid. Fifty-three per cent of low-income American households and 38 per cent of Canadian households are extremely stressed.

Pandemic fatigue

Across the board, 55 per cent of both Americans and Canadians find taking precautions, such as social distancing and wearing masks, to be tiring and neither country wants another lockdown.

Political affiliation matters when it comes to pandemic fatigue. Seventy-one per cent of Americans affiliated with Republicans and 64 per cent of Canadians affiliated with the Conservative Party told Angus Reid the precautions were tiring, compared to 43 per cent of Americans and Canadians affiliated with the Democrats or Liberal Party.