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Canadians fear second wave of COVID-19 could be worse for economy, mental health: survey

Last Updated Jul 20, 2020 at 7:16 pm PST


As temperatures rise and more people get outdoors, there are new worries about the impacts of a second wave of COVID-19

A survey looks into the economic and mental health impacts of a fall or winter wave

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — As the number of COVID-19 cases rises in B.C., a survey shows many Canadians are concerned about a second wave of the virus later this year.

The latest research from the Angus Reid Institute looks at how a possible second wave would hit already fatigued communities.

RELATED: ‘We cannot give up’: Canadian Medical Association warns about potential second wave of COVID-19

More than half of people across the country think the economy would suffer even more than it did during this first wave, while the biggest worry is the effect on mental health if communities went back into lockdown.

About one in three people say the second wave would have a negative impact on their mental well-being. Young women are more likely to say their mental health would be negatively impacted because of a second wave.

However, one in five Canadians say they see the country faring better when it comes to deaths and illnesses if a second wave happens. Just under 40 per cent think it would be about the same.

B.C., Alberta, and Saskatchewan have all seen an uptick in cases recently and doctors have been intensifying their messaging to stay committed to social distancing, especially to those under the age of 40.

People in B.C. and Manitoba are the most confident in how their communities would respond and go back into lockdown.

RELATED: Serology survey suggests B.C. far from avoiding potential second COVID-19 wave

With Canada’s unemployment rate rising to 13.7 per cent in May, and the deficit reaching more than $360 billion during the pandemic, more than eight million Canadians are relying on assistance from the federal government.

“It is those who are suffering most already that are likely to bear the brunt of another economic downturn. Two-thirds of those who are in great shape right now (62 per cent) say they will be unaffected by a second lockdown,” the survey says. “Those who are in bad or terrible shape are overwhelmingly likely to say that they would be hit hard again.”

A recent serology survey suggests B.C. is far from stopping a second wave of the coronavirus.