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COVID-19 A Check-in with the North American Public

As the days have turned into weeks, the work from home mantra has been the norm for many within the Canadian workforce with COVID-19. Here in our house, we have adjusted from driving downtown to office jobs, to working in our home office back to back. This has been an adjustment of us all, but how does one make the switch from office work to homework? So, we are over 100 days in and what are the overall feelings of the Canadian public?

One of the top research firms in Canada has been completing weekly surveys, and here is a little insight into the North America public four months into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contract tracing

Contract tracing has started to become a topic of interest, especially here in Canada. From sporting franchises to provincial and federal governments, contract tracing has been a consideration, but privacy concerns are naturally one of the biggest things on peoples minds. According to data, 50% of respondents were not comfortable with a contract tracing app where the app company maintained and stored data. However, a decentralized app does have more support, with over 70% of respondents being at least somewhat comfortable with their information being accessed only with permissions.


We have seen a complete and utter change in the way that Canadians are doing activities this spring and summer. The top-ranking activities that respondents feel at least 50% comfortable are shopping online with curbside pickup, hiking, biking or walking in a public space, driving by personal car and taking a dog to the dog park. However, people are still not comfortable with going to the beach or heading to the doctors and dentists with less than 40% of respondents noting they are even somewhat comfortable with these activities.

The activities that people are avoiding

As we can see, people are comfortable with doing activities alone in isolated vehicles or outside, but what about the activities that they are avoiding altogether. Over 65% of respondents noted they were not at all comfortable with visiting an elder in a care facility. As well, 60% of people responded that they are not at all comfortable with air travel for business or personal travel. It will take a while until the public can gain that comfort back, but it will.

On the re-opening of the economy

Interestingly, 28% of respondents expressed concerns about opening up far too early. The survey did not ask about it, and over ¼ of respondents noted these concerns spontaneously. People brought up various things such as a failure to meet loosening criteria, concerns over the lack of social distancing and the risk to take one step forward and two steps back. These fears stemmed from the news from places like Arizona, New York and Florida.

COVID-19 is not going anywhere, and these insights are more than interesting. How are you feeling with COVID-19? Are you feeling okay, or are you tired? We are going to get through this, and remember, be socially distant, stay safe and wear a mask!

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