Most Canadians believe worst of COVID-19 pandemic still to come, poll finds
A man has his temperature checked prior to entering an Apple store in Montreal, Saturday, September 26, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
VANCOUVER -- As Canadians face the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, there's growing concern that the worst is yet to come.
That's according to a new survey from the Angus Reid Institute, which found people less optimistic about the crisis than they were just a few short months ago.
Just 36 per cent of respondents said the worst pandemic-related health impacts are behind us, down from 59 per cent back in early June.
Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) said the opposite – that the worst is still to come. That's up from 41 per cent in June.
The Angus Reid Institute said people's outlook was especially bad in B.C.
"Anxiety is highest in British Columbia," the polling firm said in its findings. "In that province, four-in-five residents (78 per cent) expect this next wave, and anything that follows, to do more damage than has been done before."
Pollsters found a similar spike when it comes to concerns about the economic impacts of the pandemic, including job losses and business closures.
A full 73 per cent of respondents said they believe the worst blow to the economy lies ahead, up from 49 per cent in early June. Just 27 per cent said the opposite, down from 51 per cent in June.
Across the country, seven-in-10 Canadians say they're concerned about personally contracting COVID-19, up from a low of 46 per cent in June.
The Angus Reid Institute conducted the survey online from Sept. 23 to 25 among a randomized sample of 1,660 Canadian adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum.
The institute said a sample of that size would carry a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.