People wear face masks as they wait for the start of a performance of MOB at the Centaur Theatre in Montreal, Sunday, March 28, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Certain health and safety measures have been eased in the province of Quebec allowing theatres, churches and gyms to have up to 250 people on their premises. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

People wear face masks as they wait for the start of a performance of MOB at the Centaur Theatre in Montreal, Sunday, March 28, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Certain health and safety measures have been eased in the province of Quebec allowing theatres, churches and gyms to have up to 250 people on their premises. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Canadians answer what they think post-COVID-19 life will look like in new survey

More than 60 per cent also felt pessimistic about how the pandemic will affect the economy and travel

New research suggests that while Canadians feel COVID-19 will have negative consequences on mental health and the economy, they feel it will be good for online shopping and public mask-wearing once the pandemic is over.

The findings are from a phone survey by the Canadian Hub for Applied and Social Research at the University of Saskatchewan.

It asked about 1,000 people during the first two weeks of March what kind of long-term impacts they thought the health crisis would have on different areas of life.

“Given that vaccinations are now starting to roll out … people are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said research director Jason Disano.

“It seems like a great opportunity to really get a sense of how people are feeling in terms of what life may or may not look like post-COVID.”

Specifically, people were asked to imagine a world where COVID-19 was under control, and to pick whether they thought the virus would have a positive or negative effect or no impact at all on a certain category.

Researchers said the survey had a 3.1 per cent margin of error, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20 nationally.

Some of the results weren’t surprising, said Disano, like those about mental health and well-being.

About 72 per cent of respondents predicted COVID-19 would have a negative effect, compared to 18 per cent who felt it would be positive.

More than 60 per cent also felt pessimistic about how the pandemic will affect the economy and international travel, while 52 per cent said it would be bad for personal finances.

“No one really knows what the economy is going to look like post-pandemic,” said Disano.

He said some of the data he found most interesting were about children’s education. Despite 63 per cent of people feeling like the virus will have positive changes on the delivery of online education, 54 per cent thought it would be bad for children’s learning.

“I do think there’s a bit of concern around — are the students who are either K-12 or post-secondary, are they going to be behind where they could be or should be, at this point in their educational careers?” said Disano.

On the brighter side, he pointed out that 61 per cent of people thought COVID-19 would be good for the willingness of people to wear masks in public after the pandemic.

“I would assume people, when they were responding to this question, were thinking about things like the influenza virus,” said Disano.

“Perhaps masking may become not necessarily widespread, but perhaps more common.”

The survey also said 76 per cent of people felt the pandemic would be positive for online shopping, and 72 per cent reported the same for alternate workplace arrangements.

Opinions on other topics were more mixed. About 37 per cent of people thought there will be both good and bad changes to domestic travel because of the virus, while 23 per cent said they didn’t know.

Overall, Disano said, the research indicates people feel differently about how the pandemic will impact their lives, and there’s a lot of uncertainty about what communities will look like once they are no longer threatened by the virus.

“I think there’s going to be a degree of onus on policy-makers, on politicians, on public-health officials to provide more information to Canadians in terms of what they see post-pandemic Canada looking like.”

Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Windsurfers enjoying a windstorm on Skaha Lake in Penticton on March 28, 2021. (Sandy Steck Photography)
Wind warning issued for Okanagan Valley

Boaters are being warned of gusts up to 70 km/h by late afternoon on Sunday

Vernon Vipers forward Ryan Shostak (centre) fends off a check from Salmon Arm defenceman to get a close-in scoring attempt on Silverbacks goalie Owen Say during Vernon’s 3-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play shootout victory Saturday, April 17, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers photography)
Vernon Vipers use shootout to subdue Salmon Arm

Snakes score 3-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play win at Kal Tire Place

Coldstream Fire Department crews stationed at Kal Lake Provincial Park parking lot on Cosens Bay Road on Sunday, April 18, after a car went over a cliff in the area. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Driver escapes after car goes over cliff in Coldstream near Kal Lake Park

The driver has been transported to hospital with unspecified injuries

A GoFundMe page has been launched for a Vernon man whose BX orchard property home off Pleasant Valley Road near Stickle Road was totally destroyed in a fire Saturday, April 17. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Fundraising campaign launched for Vernon man who lost home to fire

A GoFundMe page has been started by family; man taken to hospital with injuries from fire

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A Kelowna Pride Festival 2019 participant holds up a flag. (Kelowna Pride Society)
Kelowna Pride, RCMP continue to work on ‘Safe Place Program’

A new committee has been formed to refine the ‘Safe Place Program’ created by the Kelowna RCMP

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A strange odour at a West Kelowna apartment building prompted the evacuation of 150 residents on Sunday morning, April 18. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Strange smell at West Kelowna apartment prompts evacuation of 150 residents, pets

150 residents ordered evacuated from a West Kelowna apartment building early Sunday morning

This is what’s left of a truck that caught fire at Pyramid Provincial Park off Highway 97 near Summerland Saturday night. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Photo Gallery: Truck gutted by fire at popular Okanagan park, trees saved

Just a metal shell of what once was a pick up truck is left at the scene

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Most Read