Gurpreet Uppal, general manager at Boston Pizza, is happy to be reopened in Airdrie, Alta., Thursday, May 14, 2020, amid a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. (Jeff McIntosh/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Canadians say post-COVID-19 ‘return to normal’ is far off: poll

More than two-thirds of Canadians (68 per cent) now believe that the full return to post-COVID-19 normal life is at least six months away, according to the latest public opinion data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute.

This represents a stark increase in the number of Canadians holding this view. In March, when the lockdown measures swept through the country, only 30 per cent believed it would take that long for things to return to normal. That number grew to 43 per cent in April.

The poll, which was released Friday, indicates that for eight-in-ten Canadians the primary concern continues to be the risk of illness for friends and family, compared to six-in-ten who say they are worried about their personal risk.

One-in-five Canadians remain ‘very concerned’ about becoming sick.

Barber Salim Alhaj, cuts the hair of client, John Gee, of Calgary, who came to the Kingsview Barbershop on its re-opening in Airdrie, Alta., Thursday, May 14, 2020, amid a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. (Jeff McIntosh/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The good news is that for many, the potential economic turmoil foreseen in the early days of the pandemic has not been realized thanks to the government programs that appear to have softened the blow somewhat.

Nearly nine-in-ten Canadians were able to pay their rent in full. But 13 per cent of respondents had their rent either reduced, deferred, or waived. This is a fraction of the number who were worried about these situations occurring back in March (30 per cent).

And as provinces begin to slowly lift restrictions and outline plans for a cautious opening up of communities and their economies, Canadians continue to be of the opinion that it is too soon to reopen many of the businesses and institutions where they live.

Seven-in-ten say it is too soon to go to elementary schools (71 per cent), places of worship (69 per cent), gyms (73 per cent), and other places in their neighbourhoods.

Categories: Economy, Society
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