More than half of Canadians feel lonely, isolated during the coronavirus pandemic: Ipsos survey – National


Many Canadians have been at home for weeks practicing isolation and physical distance as much as possible to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

Today, people are starting to feel the full effects of these practices: 54% of Canadians feel alone or isolated, according to a survey by Ipsos on behalf of Global News.

This is based on data collected from 1,006 Canadians aged 18 and older via an online survey.

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Coronavirus outbreak: do Canadians feel alone in their isolation?

Coronavirus outbreak: do Canadians feel alone in their isolation?

Feelings of isolation were higher among those aged 18 to 34 (68%).

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However, people aged 35 to 54 (58%) and people over 55 (40%) also reported feeling this feeling.

If you are someone who has felt alone in the past few weeks, you are not alone. These feelings are completely normal, according to licensed psychologist Melanie Badali.

“Right now, a lot of people feel lonely because of [the] Covid epidemic 19. Take steps to maintain social ties, but also recognize that it is “normal” to feel alone at the moment, “she said.

“But right now, many people feel lonely, just as many people suffer from anxiety, grief, frustration, sadness and irritability. “

However, if you feel feelings of loneliness and isolation that persist beyond the end of the epidemic, said Badali, then it is worth asking a professional for help.

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Loneliness and mental health

Loneliness has been shown to affect a person’s physical and mental health.

“Some research has linked loneliness to negative health consequences: increased levels of stress, depression and anxiety have been reported, [and] social isolation has also been linked to poorer quality sleep, “said Badali.

“There are also links with cognitive functioning problems … [as well as] cardiovascular malfunction and functioning of the immune system. “

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However, there is an important difference between temporary or reactive loneliness and chronic loneliness, said Badali.

“During life transitions – such as the changes in everyday life experienced by people due to the coronavirus epidemic, as well as recommendations regarding physical distance and isolation – it makes sense that some people feel alone, “she said.

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“If you don’t have enough resources (these can be emotional, mental and financial) and you don’t have the social connections that can provide those resources, chronic stress and loneliness can set in. “

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However, if feelings of loneliness and isolation disappear after the epidemic is over, there is probably no need to worry about the long-term impacts.

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Professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad of Brigham Young University’s Psychology and Neuroscience Program, who has already done studies on the subject, says studies show that the key to fighting loneliness is to maintain these relationships with age.

She says not only that, but real social relationships mean giving people time to face and spending less time engaging with them on social media.

“Most of the evidence we found related to health [to] close relationships, usually characterized by a degree of trust, support and positivity, “she previously told Global News. “It’s not just people you barely know. “

Optimism about the future

The good news: most Canadians believe life will return to normal once the spread of the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, in Canada is brought under control.

According to the survey, 65% of Canadians said they were convinced that things like work, school and social life would return to what they were before the pandemic.

One in three Canadians (35%) disagree with this notion, rather believing that the post-coronavirus world will be very different from life before this crisis begins.

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According to the data, men (69%) are more likely than women (60%) to believe that things will return to normal.

Youth are also more likely to be optimistic about this: 72% of Canadians aged 18 to 34 are the most likely to believe that things will return to normal, followed by those aged 35 to 54 (63% hundred) then those over 55 (60%).

The role of technology

Being alone is not synonymous with loneliness, said Badali.

“Loneliness is about how satisfied people are with their connectivity or their perceived social isolation,” she said.

“It is possible to be physically isolated right now and not feel alone. “

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Fortunately, technology is an easy way to maintain social ties – and most Canadians (93%) say they use phones, computers, and other technologies to stay close with family and friends during this time. .

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Changes to advice on non-medical masks and COVID-19 protection from British Columbia. health officials

According to the survey, this is true for all age groups, with no significant difference from one generation to the next.

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It makes sense that humans find new ways to connect.

“Humans are social animals,” said Badali. “Being connected to others is important for well-being and survival.”

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As the epidemic continues, Badali recommends that people stay as socially connected as possible.

“Social isolation is different from physical isolation,” she said.

“Now, more than ever before in our history, we can connect with other people through verbal and non-verbal communication channels in a way that requires no physical contact or proximity.”

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you should know:

Health authorities warn against all international travel. Return travelers are legally required to self-isolate for 14 days, starting March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent the spread of the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to provide self-isolation for people returning to the region.

Symptoms may include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing – very similar to a cold or the flu. Some people may develop a more serious illness. Those most at risk are the elderly and people with serious chronic conditions such as heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend washing your hands frequently and coughing up your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying at home as much as possible, and keeping two meters away from others if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage by Global News, click here.

Exclusive Global News Ipsos polls are copyright protected. Information and / or data may only be re-disseminated or republished with full and appropriate credit and attribution to “Global News Ipsos”.

This Ipsos poll on behalf of Global News was an online survey of 1,006 Canadians conducted between April 3 and 7. The results have been weighted to better reflect the composition of the Canadian adult population, according to census data. The accuracy of Ipsos online surveys is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the survey is considered to be more or less 3.5 percentage points accurate, 19 times out of 20.

With files from Laura Hensley of Global News

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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