This is no time for complacency

This novel-coronavirus pandemic is dramatically changing the lives of British Columbians, more or less.

We are all certainly going outside less often, many of us are working less, and visiting with family less. Some of us are drinking more, baking more, sleeping more, gardening more.

But there are many categories of activity where some of us are doing more, while others do less, according to a recent Insights West poll.

Keeping ourselves physically healthy in a time of self-isolation, one that comes with official public health requests that we stay home can be challenging. But 28 per cent of people who responded to the poll said they are exercising less often while 31 per cent said more often. As for nutrition, 34 per cent reported eating more unhealthily while 22 per cent said they were eating healthier. Day drinking has been a bit of a joke on social media, but we all know that excess alcohol consumption is a serious health problem, and here respondents were split. Twenty-five per cent said they were drinking more, 23 per cent less.

As for the big picture, people have a vastly different perspective about themselves than they do about others.

“It’s an interesting phenomenon that individually we think we are doing a good job in social distancing, but we don’t think our neighbour is doing the same,” said Insights West president Steve Mossop.

When asked, 89 per cent gave themselves a rating of eight, nine, or 10 out of a 10-point scale on physical distancing, while only 35 per cent gave others in the province a rating of eight-to-10.

“I believe public instances of shaming offenders – whether it be social media or news-driven, has given us the perception that we are doing worse as a society than what we are actually doing,” Mossop said. “However, I’m a bit surprised at the extent to which people are leaving their homes – clearly we can do a better job on this front.”

The evidence shows that, so far, we are doing a good job. We can always do better, and we need to ensure complacency doesn’t get the better of us.