Vancouver News | Local Breaking | CTV News Vancouver
Despite increased stress, most in B.C. think they're coping well with COVID-19, poll finds
VANCOUVER -- A new poll finds British Columbians feeling more worried, bored, stressed and lonely than normal as they deal with physical distancing restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the province, but most also feel they're doing a good job coping with the situation.
The online survey of 817 B.C. residents conducted by Insights West asked respondents whether they've been feeling five negative emotions more or less than normal since health officials instructed non-essential workers to stay at home.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, majorities said they have been feeling at least "a little more" worry (62%), boredom (59%), stress (59%) and anxiety (57%) than they normally would. A smaller number, 43 per cent, said they've been feeling either "a little more" or "a lot more" loneliness over the last few weeks.
Fewer than one-in-10 respondents said they are feeling less of any of these emotions these days.
One potential explanation for the smaller proportion of British Columbians saying they're lonelier than usual can be seen in another of the survey's findings.
Insights West asked respondents whether their relationships with other people in their lives have improved or worsened since physical distancing began. While most people say their relationships with work colleagues, friends, and family have stayed about the same since physical distancing began, those who have noticed a change are more likely to say their relationships are "better" now than to say they're "worse."
Nearly a third (30%) of those surveyed who have children say their relationships with their kids have gotten better during the coronavirus pandemic, compared to fewer than one-in-10 (8%) who say their relationships have gotten worse.
Likewise, twice as many respondents with spouses or partners say that relationship has improved (28%) as say it has worsened (14%).
Asked to rate the job they are doing at dealing with the current situation on an emotional level, three-quarters of British Columbians say they are either doing a "good" job (49%) or an "excellent" one (25%).
Of course, that means a quarter of British Columbians rate their own emotional handling of the pandemic as "fair" (22%) or "poor" (4%). In its release on the poll results, Insights West called this total "a worrisome number."
Similarly worrisome is the demographic breakdown of British Columbians' emotional struggles during the pandemic.
Women are 10 percentage points less likely than men to see themselves as doing a good or excellent job dealing with the COVID-19 situation (69% of women say this, compared to 79% of men).
Similarly, women are more likely than men to say they are experiencing four of the five emotions asked about in the survey more than normal. The exception is boredom, which men and women are equally likely to say they've been feeling more since physical distancing began.
Respondents under the age of 35 follow a similar pattern, reporting higher levels of increased stress, worry, boredom, anxiety and loneliness than older British Columbians do.
People in this younger age group are also more likely rate their own coping with the COVID-19 situation as fair or poor. A total of 36 per cent give themselves one of these ratings, compared to 26 per cent of those ages 35 to 54 and 18 per cent of those 55 and older.
The Insights West survey was conducted online from April 9 to 12 among a sample of 817 B.C. residents. The margin of error, which measures sample variability, is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Detailed data tables can be found here.