Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Poll suggests pandemic made some Canadians more grateful for what they have

Younger respondents in the survey more often cited spending more time with immediate family

A new poll suggests the COVID-19 pandemic has made some Canadians feel more grateful for what they have.

The poll from Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies found respondents cited that feeling 56 per cent of the time when asked about positive impacts from the pandemic.

But there was an age divide in the survey.

About two-thirds of respondents age 55 and up reported simply feeling more grateful for what they have compared to less than half of respondents 35 and under.

Younger respondents in the survey more often cited spending more time with immediate family.

Association president Jack Jedwab said the results likely reflect that older generations are more threatened by the virus and haven’t been able to spend as much time with close family.

“There’s more of a life-threatening dimension for seniors that has made them, made that group disproportionately feel more grateful for what they have in this particular climate,” he said.

More than one-third of respondents in the survey also cited saving money or paying off debt faster, having more free time and spending more quality time with their immediate families as positive impacts from the pandemic.

Also high on the list was spending less time commuting. About one-third of respondents between 18 and 44 years old reported being thankful to work or study from home during the pandemic.

“They’re spending less time commuting, because people are working out of their homes more so than they ever have,” Jedwab said.

“That’s not been the case for people who are seniors who’ve been more confined…and been asked to limit their mobility and their movements.”

The online survey of 1,528 Canadians was conducted Dec. 11-13 and cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

Previous surveys by the Association for Canadian Studies suggested that half of Canadians see 2020 as the worst year they have ever experienced, but a majority consider the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines as a reason to be cautiously optimistic about 2021.

Looking ahead, more than half of respondents said they are planning to be more active, improve their eating habits and lose weight next year.

While those are perennial resolutions, Jedwab said the results may also be linked to earlier survey work that found more respondents reported exercising less than exercising more.

He noted that nearly half respondents in the new survey identified improving their mental health as a New Year’s resolution.

“It’s not one of the ones I thought would be most common,” Jedwab said.

“It’s a serious issue that has gotten really tremendous amount of attention, and there’s been a general public concern about the collective state of our mental health.”

———

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press

Poll

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

Just Posted

The College of Massage Therapists of B.C. says Van (William) Dinh, a registered massage therapist in Surrey and Langley, has had his licence suspended while an inquiry committee panel investigates allegations of sexual misconduct. (Unsplash photo)
Surrey massage therapist suspended amid sexual misconduct investigation

CMTBC received complaint Van (William) Dinh allegedly exposed ‘sensitive areas of the patient’s body’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (bottom right) and Minister of Employment Carla Qualtrough (upper left) spoke to senior staff of the Langley Community Services Society on Friday, May 7 about mental health issues. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)
PM makes virtual visit to Langley social service agency

The discussion with staff of Langley Community Services Society centred on mental health

Melissa Vandergenderen, Sandeep Chahal, Niole Garfias and Sheela Veloo had fun attracting passersby to the hot dog sale downtown Friday, May 7, 2021. The event raised funds for the Langley Seniors Resource Society Adult Day Program. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Langley program fires up the grill Friday for hot dog sale

Adult Day Program helps seniors and people with disabilities to remain more independent

Three vehicles were involved in a crash on the afternoon of Friday, May 7, 2021, at the intersection of Fraser Highway and 208th Street. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Three-vehicle Langley intersection crash leaves car on its side

There were no serious injuries resulting from a Friday afternoon crash on a major City roadway

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

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

Hundreds gathered for a candlelight vigil Friday evening (May 7) to remember 29-year-old corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, who was killed in last weekend’s brazen daylight shooting outside North Delta’s Scottsdale Centre mall. (James Smith photo)
Hundreds gather to remember victim of North Delta shooting

Corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, was killed in what police say was a targeted incident

Flags flown at half mast out front of Fraser Regional Correctional Centre for slain corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa. (Neil Corbett/ The News)
Public vigil and flying flags at half mast done to honour slain prison guard

Maple Ridge corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, is being remembered in a number of ways

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Most Read