Only half of Canadians think communities will take a second wave seriously

Much of the tape on the play equipment at Cathraw Playground, in midtown, is in disarray and may need to be restrung now that it is clear childrens playgrounds will remain closed during Phase 3 of the reopening. COVID-19. CORONAPD Toronto Star/Rick Madonik (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Half of Canadians are confident their communities would take a second lockdown seriously if another wave of COVID-19 hit later this year.

A new survey from Angus Reid Institute took the temperature on how people across the country feel now that we’re several months into the global pandemic. Provinces like Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia — which has been applauded for its handling of the virus — have recently seen an uptick in cases. 

In total, 50 per cent of people surveyed say they felt confident others in their community would follow the same protocol with measures like as social distancing, hand-washing, and avoiding public spaces if they were asked to do so again later this year.  

People in B.C. and Manitoba were feeling the most confident in how those around them would respond to such a scenario, but less than half in other parts of the country felt the same.

The main concerns Canadians have around the possibility of a second wave revolve around the economy and mental health.

Just over half — 51 per cent — feel the economic devastation from a second wave in the fall or winter would be more problematic than the first. The anxiety around this scenario was most noticeable in Alberta and Atlantic Canada. When it comes to personal finances, 22 per cent of Canadians say a second wave would have a very negative impact, while 35 per cent say it would be slightly negative.

As for issues relating to mental health, most Canadian say having to go through a second lockdown would be difficult for them. Twenty-eight percent say it would have a very negative effect on their mental wellbeing, while 43 per cent say it would be negative to a lesser extent.

Other notable findings from the survey:

  • 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 per cent) say it would not affect them

  • One in five Canadians (20 per cent) say they think Canada would fare better with respect to deaths and illness in the event of a second wave. Two in five (39 per cent) anticipate that it would be about the same, while one in three (33 per cent) feel it would be worse

  • One in three (34 per cent) 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

The full survey can be found here.