Poll: young Canadians feeling impact of pandemic

Mira Gillis, second from left, is shown with other National Youth Advocates on a location shoot in Toronto. Photo courtesy of World Vision, provided by Mira Gillis.

A new poll of Canadians 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.
More than half of young Canadians (51%) worry their job could disappear. 31% feel their emotional and mental health has been affected more than others while 64%  think about the impact of the pandemic on people in poor countries.

“One of my emotions is relaxed because I have a lot of free time,” says Deanne, a student at the University of Waterloo. “But I’ve also felt scared because there is so much uncertainty.”

According to a poll by Abacus Research, commissioned by World Vision, Canadian youth say they feel more affected by the COVID-19 lockdown than other generations. (CNW Group/World Vision Canada)

“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.”