A man walks past a closed Club Monaco store with messages and artwork painted on the boarded up windows and doors, in Vancouver, on Sunday, May 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Canadians’ worries shift from healthcare to social isolation as time goes on: StatsCan

Social restrictions are taking a toll on Canadians, surveys show

Worries over the pandemic in Canada have shifted from healthcare to social isolation woes, a report from Statistics Canada has found.

The data, released mid-May, is based on three weeks of surveys. In the first week, Canadians were more worried about the health of Canadians, global health and overloading the healthcare system. By week’s two and three, the percentage of people worried about the health of other Canadians had dropped from 72 per cent to 64 per cent, with similar drops in global health concern. The proportion of people worried about overloading the healthcare system also dropped from 88.1 to 78 per cent.

READ MORE: B.C. restaurants can host dine-in guests Tuesday, but what will that look like?

At the same time, Canadians showed slightly more concern about social stress factors. By weeks two and three, the proportion of people worried about maintaining social ties rose by three per cent to 36.5 per cent, while one to three per cent of Canadians were now more worried about their compatriots abilities to cooperate and support one another after the crisis, family stress from confinement and family violence. According to Statistics Canada, young people were more worried about family stress and violence than older generations.

READ MORE: B.C. human rights observers concerned by spike in family violence amid COVID-19

The data showed that adherence to physical distancing measures remained fairly constant, with most people continuing to stay home, wash their hands and avoiding large crowds.

The variance in people following physical distancing measures was more tied to how worried they were about COVID-19. More than 90 per cent of people who were “very” concerned about overloading the healthcare system followed the rules and restriction, while adherence was in the 70 per cent range for those who were “not at all” concerned.

READ MORE: British Columbians navigate addiction recovery during the pandemic

According to Statistics Canada, the first week data came from 20,000 people during the week of April 3-9. The second and third weeks of data were collected from 50,000 people from April 10-25.


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