A new poll of Canadians released Tuesday by Abacus Research finds that young Canadians are feeling the greatest immediate effects of COVID-19 compared with other age groups – — but also feel the most hopeful about the future.
The Abacus survey, commissioned by World Vision, explored a variety of Canadian pandemic perspectives including the impact on mental health, personal relationships, job security and outlook for the future. “I would say in the last couple of months I felt a little bit vulnerable to be honest because it’s such a new situation,” says Sonia, a student at Western University who recently participated in a World Vision video project aimed at sharing Canadian youth perspectives and building global solidarity.
“No one has really lived through something like this, so I think we’re all a little bit vulnerable in terms of course, like the physical health side of it, and also the mental health side of it. You just start to feel a little bit isolated or overwhelmed. But I’m also definitely a little bit hopeful that we’re able to grow from this and come out stronger.”
“In terms of my view on the world, it seemed to me at times that people were drifting more apart,” says Junaid, a student at McMaster University. “With all the news about people like some countries hoarding equipment and diverting equipment and taking it from each other and everything. But I’ve been coming to realize that we’re actually more together in this time than we ever were in history. Because if you think about it, every single country is dealing with the same issue.”
Other key metrics shared by the survey include: 31 per cent of young Canadians feel their emotional and mental health has been affected more than others, highest of any age group, 66 per cent of young Canadians worry about the impact of the pandemic on social cohesion in Canada, the most of any age group, 64 per cent of young Canadians think about the impact of the pandemic on people in poor countries, highest of any generation, and 32 per cent of young Canadians feel they have more hope for the future than others, highest of any age group. The survey was conducted with 2,087 Canadian adults between the dates of May 14-19.