55% say they'll be infected regardless of precautions; two-in-five would end all restrictions
Canada – The latest tranche of government restrictions aimed at curbing the unrelentingly virulent spread of COVID-19’s Omicron variant is a provincial patchwork that is reflective of Canada’s status as a federation.
While Quebecers are under curfew from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m., Saskatchewan residents are free to gather as they please at all times.
Now, new data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute show nationally a slim majority resigned to the inevitability of being infected with this latest strain of the coronavirus. More than half of Canadians (55%) say regardless of the precautions they take, they expect to contract Omicron. Notably, this sentiment rises to at least three-in-five among parents who have children in grade school.
Still, those who feel they can’t avoid an Omicron infection are split on whether it’s time to remove all public health restrictions. Among those who feel that they will be infected with the latest variant no matter what they do, half (48%) say that public health measures should be removed completely, and half (48%) disagree.
The widespread transmissibility of Omicron does not appear to be changing the calculus for parents when it comes to whether schools should be open for in-person learning, however.
While they are more likely than those without children in school to say that they will contract Omicron, parents of elementary and secondary students lean toward the benefits of having children in-class, rather than online learning. Asked to weigh these two aspects of the debate, 46 per cent say both are equivalent in their priority, while 38 per cent say that the mental health and social development of children from being in school is primary. Far fewer (16%) say limiting the spread of COVID-19 in schools should be the government’s higher concern during the pandemic.
More Key Findings:
Half of men aged 54 and under would like to see the end of restrictions. For all other age-gender groups, a majority wouldn’t end restrictions, including two-thirds (66%) of women aged 55-years-old and older.
A plurality in Saskatchewan (44%) and Manitoba (42%) believe restrictions should be stricter in their province. As many in Quebec believe restrictions are too strict (36%) as believe they are about right (38%).
In Newfoundland and Labrador, three-in-five (60%) believe infection by Omicron is inevitable regardless of what they do. Notably, that province’s chief medical officer said at the beginning of the month she believed most people in the province would catch the variant.
Few (23%) believe 2022 will be the final year of the pandemic. Women aged 18- to 34-years-old (61%) are the most likely to believe we’ll be dealing with widespread COVID-19 infection into 2023 at least.
View full poll at link below: