Canadian Medical Association

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) today presented the results of a Quebec survey indicating that preventive measures such as two-metre physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and coughing etiquette (coughing into one’s elbow) have been widely adopted by Quebeckers since the pandemic began. However, mask wearing appears to be the least followed measure.

The survey, conducted in Quebec by L’Observateur from June 13 to 17, 2020, reveals that handwashing, physical distancing, and coughing etiquette have adoption rates of 70, 95, and 93% respectively. Mask wearing is the least followed measure: less than half of Quebeckers surveyed (42%) report wearing a mask regularly in public since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Paradoxically, although 82% of respondents in the 18–34 age group believe there will be a second wave, only 27% report wearing a mask.

The survey also indicates that 87% of Quebeckers in the 18–34 age group do not consider themselves to be at risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19. Thus, it appears that the older they are, the more Quebeckers consider themselves “at risk” and the more they observe preventive measures.

The survey also shows that three out of four Quebeckers (74%) expect there will be a second wave of COVID-19 in the coming months. 

“The message is clear. We must continue our efforts to protect our neighbours, our friends, and our families,” said Dr. Abdo Shabah, emergency physician and AMC board member. “The reality today is that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and we must use every possible measure to avoid a second wave that could be even more devastating than the first.”

The survey also dealt with tracing technologies. If a mobile app were available to facilitate community tracing of the virus, 42% of Quebeckers would download it.

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