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Majority of Canadians believe pandemic has divided country: Survey

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People hug as they take part in a demonstration opposing the COVID-19 health restrictions in Montreal, Canada.

CANADA: Two years since COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic and on the heels of a controversial protest against Covid restrictions last month, Canadians said they believe that the virus served to divide the country, according to a survey published on Friday.

In a comprehensive survey undertaken by the non-profit Angus Reid Institute (ARI) for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), 82% – an overwhelming majority — of respondents said they believed that “the pandemic has pulled people apart”, while only 18% believed that the pandemic brought people together.

79% said this period brought out the worst in people, with only 21% people agreeing that it brought out the best in them. While, nearly two-thirds (61%) said “Canadians’ level of compassion for one another has weakened”.

The survey came just weeks after a siege of the Canadian capital of Ottawa, precipitated by the government’s imposition of Covid vaccine mandates in mid-January on truckers travelling between Canada and the United States. The so-called Freedom Convoy eventually expanded to include opposition to all restrictions imposed by the government to curb COVID, including lockdowns.

More than half of all respondents (54%) said their mental health worsened over the past two years, with women between the ages of 18 and 54 faring the worst.

Canadians also have less confidence now in the system to handle another health crisis of this nature in the future.The survey found that they were “jaded about how well this country is equipped to handle a future pandemic”. Most (70%) believe Canada will “struggle just as much” in the next pandemic, while less than half (30%) said they believed that said the nation is in “good shape” to handle something similar happening again.


Monday, March 14, 2022 – 01:00

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