Half of Ontarians don't expect life to return to normal for at least six months: poll
The High Park public tennis court is closed in Toronto on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
TORONTO -- More than four in 10 Canadians now believe that life won’t return to normal for at least six months with those living in Ontario among the most pessimistic, a new poll has found.
The Angus Reid Institute survey of 4,240 Canadians found that 43 per cent of all respondents do not believe that life will return “back to normal” for at least six months with that number rising to 50 per cent among Ontario residents.
Meanwhile, about 41 per cent of respondents said that they felt life would return to normal within three to six months while 14 per cent said they hoped for some return to normalcy in a month or two. The remaining two per cent of respondents said that they expected life to return to normal in the coming weeks.
The numbers represent a significant shift from a similar poll that Angus Reid conducted between March 13 and 15 when restrictions were first being placed on public life. At that time only 30 per cent said that they didn’t expect life to return to normal for six months or more and 31 per cent said they expected some return to normalcy in a few months or less.
The data also reveals that age may be a factor in how Canadians view the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of those 55-years-old and up, 47 per cent of them believe that life won’t be able to return to normal for six months or more compared to 36 per cent among those between the ages of 18 and 34. Education also played a role with 49 per cent of respondents who have completed at least some university indicating that they don’t expect things to return to normal for six months or more. That number drops to 40 per cent among those with only a high school education.
Canadians split on what they will do first once restrictions are lifted
In terms of what they will do when life returns to normal and restrictions on in-person interactions are lifted, Canadians are split.
The Angus Reid Institute survey found that 45 per cent of respondents listed hugging friends and family as the thing they were most looking forward to while 34 per cent said reconnecting with people and 31 per cent said going to a bar or restaurant. Going back to the office (16 per cent), going on vacation (16 per cent), going shopping (11 per cent), going to the gym (nine per cent) and watching live sports (seven per cent) were also popular answers.
Gender was a factor in some of the responses with women more likely to express a desire to hug family and friends (55 per cent) than men (33 per cent). Men, however, expressed a stronger desire to go to a restaurant or bar (35 per cent) than women (27 per cent)
The poll is considered accurate to within two percentage points, 19 times out of 20.