One in five Canadians weren’t taking the deadly COVID-19 pandemic seriously as recently as last weekend, a new poll suggests.

In a Leger poll conducted between Friday and Sunday, 16 per cent of respondents said the crisis was partly blown out of proportion and another four per cent believed it was blown way out of proportion.

As well, 16 per cent said the crisis was having no impact on them going out to stores, restaurants or other places; 17 per cent said it was having no impact on the social distance they’re keeping from others; and 21 per cent said it was having no impact on visits with friends and family.

Nine per cent said they were still planning to let their kids play outside with other children.

While the poll suggests the vast majority of Canadians were taking the crisis seriously and abiding by government advice to stay home as much as possible, Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque says the 20 per cent who weren’t taking it seriously could jeopardize nationwide efforts to curb the rapid spread of the respiratory virus.

“That 20 per cent of people must go down if we want to collectively achieve the objectives of flattening out the curve,” Bourque said in a interview, referring to the goal of keeping the number of COVID-19 cases from overwhelming the health care system.

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