Quebecers follow most COVID-19 preventative measures but won't wear masks: survey

A couple wearing a protective masks ride a near empty subway train in Montreal, on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

A new survey confirms what several Montrealers have noticed already: among popular COVID-19 preventative measures, wearing a mask is the least followed by Quebecers. 

Presented by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and carried out by L’Observateur, the survey suggests that 70 per cent of respondents participate in frequent handwashing, 95 per cent in physical distancing, and 93 per cent in coughing etiquette (coughing into one's elbow).  

When it comes to wearing a mask, less than half of respondents – 42 per cent – said they’ve been doing so regularly in public since the start of the pandemic. While 82 per cent of Quebecers aged between 18 and 34 believe there will be a second wave of the virus, only 27 per cent of them said they’ve been wearing a mask. 

This could possibly be explained by the fact that 87 per cent of those people reported not being worried about potential COVID-19 complications, as they do not consider themselves at risk. Older Quebecers appear to follow preventative measures more seriously. 

"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 CMA board member, in a statement. "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."

Nearly three out of four Quebecers (74 per cent) expect a second wave of COVID-19 in the coming months. 

When it comes to mobile contact-tracing apps, 42 per cent of Quebecers said they would download one.

On Thursday, Quebec announced the latest phase of its deconfinement – allowing casinos, amusement and water parks, spas, hotels and bars to reopen in the province. The government maintains that while wearing a mask isn't mandatory, it is strongly recommended. 

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