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New Study Shows COVID Impact on Isolation and Loneliness

Posted on November 2, 2020
By Alison Homer

As we have all pivoted and learned to live in a COVID-19 era, the associated need for physical distancing and other monumental behavioural shifts have taken a toll on Canadians’ mental health.Lonely

As we attend fewer events, frequent community spaces less often, and struggle to maintain meaningful connections with families and friends, a new study from the Angus Reid Institute highlights some of the impacts that this large-scale social distancing has had.

The study found that compared to last year, only one-in-three, compared to one-in-two Canadians in 2019, report having a good social life. Only 53%, compared to 67% said their mental health was good or very good, and one-in-five report that their mental health is either poor or very poor. The percentage that suffers from both loneliness and social isolation has increased from one-in-four to one-in-three, and the percentage suffering from neither has declined sharply from 22% to 12%.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Canadians relationships with their family members have remained a source of comfort and have remained largely positive.

  • The number of residents over 54 years of age who say they would rather see more of people has nearly doubled, from 18% last year to 33% this year.

  • Older Canadians tend to be enduring the pandemic best, with many using technology to stay connected. Use of video calling apps among this group has increased from 36% to 55%.

  • In contrast, just 47% of Canadians reported that using Zoom, FaceTime and other video calling apps makes them feel more connected to friends and family.

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Topics:
Alison Homer, Cities Reducing Poverty, Cities Deepening Community, Loneliness, Isolation, COVID-19


Alison Homer

By Alison Homer

As Team Lead and Manager of Cities with Tamarack's Vibrant Communities, Alison provides leadership and drives excellence within Cities Reducing poverty (CRP), a national movement that supports more than 80 members and 300 communities to end poverty across Canada and the USA.

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