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COVID-19: Half of Canadians confident their community would lock down again if second wave arrives

Temperatures are rising across the country and public health officials are intensifying their messaging in attempts to keep Canadians, especially those under the age of 40, committed to their social distancing practices amid the COVID-19 outbreak. This, after cases have ticked upward in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Vigilance is likely to continue to be a challenge and many Canadians are worried about how a second wave of the virus would hit their already fatigued communities. A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds just half of Canadians voicing confidence that their community would go back into the same style of lockdown employed for the first wave, if a second wave were to emerge later this year.

Residents in British Columbia and Manitoba are most confident in how their communities would respond, but fewer than half in all other regions of the country hold this faith.

Two aspects of a potential second wave appear most concerning to Canadians. The first is that half (51%) feel the economic damage from an autumn or winter second wave would be worse than the first. This anxiety is most pronounced in Alberta and Atlantic Canada.

Additionally, the overwhelming majority say that a second wave would be difficult for them from a mental health standpoint. Three-in-ten (28%) say it would have a very negative impact on their mental wellbeing, while 43 per cent say it would be negative to a lesser extent.

More Key Findings:

  • Young women are most likely to say that a second lockdown would have a very negative effect on their mental health – 42 per cent say this would be the case. One-in-five Canadians (22%) say it would not affect them
  • One-in-five Canadians (20%) say they think Canada would fare better with respect to deaths and illness in the event of a second wave. Two-in-five (39%) anticipate that it would be about the same, while one-in-three (33%) feel it would be worse
  • One-in-three (34%) say a second lockdown would have no effect on their personal finances, while the majority – 57 per cent – say it would have a negative impact

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