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Angus Reid/CBC Survey about Canadians living through the pandemic

Although not all results were “grim”

Courtesy of CBC

Two years of living through the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on a toll on Canadians, according to the findings of a new survey carried out by the Angus Reid Institute in partnership with CBC.

The survey coincides with the two-year anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic on March 12, 2020.

To be clear, the results were not unrelentingly grim.

A large majority of Canadians (70 per cent) said they are thankful to be living in Canada during the pandemic. Slightly less than half said they have since made significant positive lifestyle changes and slightly more than 80 per cent said it has made them reflect on what is really important in their lives.

But heading into the third year of the pandemic, about 41 per cent of Canadians say that “life overall” has become worse, compared to 23 per cent who say it is better now.

Four out of five of those surveyed agreed that the pandemic has “pulled people further apart.” And about the same number believe “the pandemic has brought out the worst in people.” 

Meanwhile, slightly more than 60 per cent of those surveyed said the level of compassion Canadians have for one another is “weaker.”  

Shachi Kurl, president of the Angus Reid Institute, said she was struck “to see that degradation, that breakdown of whatever sense of social cohesion we thought we might have felt this time two years ago.”

“If there has been change, it’s been change for the worse,” she said.

There were also adverse findings with respect to the pandemic’s effect on household financial situations, travel plans and relationships with family and friends.

The pandemic also struck close to home for the majority of Canadians, with more than half (54 per cent) saying a close friend or family member has been infected with the virus. One-third said an immediate family member caught COVID-19 and one in five people were personally infected.

Earlier surveys have indicated the pandemic’s toll on depression and mental health

To read more about the Angus Reid/CBC survey results, how the survey was conducted and the margin of error, click here.
Patricia Dent
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