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

North Cowichan councillor Kate Marsh. (File photo)
North Cowichan postpones decision on cell tower placement

But cell tower policy may be developed soon

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

CVRD offices on Ingram Street will remain closed for another 14 weeks after flooding last month. (File photo)
CVRD headquarters closed for another three and a half months

Building significantly damaged during water leak

Victoria police are asking for help locating high-risk missing man Derek Whittaker, last seen in Victoria April 12. (Courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Police searching for Derek Whittaker, last seen in Victoria

Whittaker believed to be driving 1994 red Volkswagen Golf

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
IIO investigating after police dog bites man near Ladysmith

RCMP dog bit man during traffic stop on Friday, April 17

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

FILE – Health-care workers wave to people clapping and yelling thank you to the frontline workers during the 7 p.m.-tribute outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. nurses issue plea for all to follow health orders as hospitalizations spike

Nurses worried about strain COVID-19 is having on hospital capacity, care

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Lawsuit filed last summer accused Barney Williams of verbal abuse

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark. (Black Press Media files)
Former B.C. premier to testify at money laundering hearing today

Attorney General David Eby has been added to the witness list as well

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. to table budget that’s expected to deal with COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Robinson released a fiscal update last December that said the impact of the pandemic on B.C.’s economy was uncertain

Paramedic Matthew Schlatter of Victoria is living a fuller life today due to the double lung transplant he received in 2019. He encourages B.C. residents to register as an organ donor and let their families know their wishes. (Instagram/Matthew Schlatter)
B.C. man living a full, active life after double-lung transplant

Matt Schlatter encourages people to register as an organ donor to help others live

(Photo by Mojpe/Pixabay)
Canadian kids extracting record amounts from Tooth Fairy

Our neighbours in the U.S. receive slightly less from Tooth Fairy visits

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

Most Read