Ask Polly #3

asiadmin | December 13, 2021  | Ask Polly | No Comments

This is a new feature where Polly samples Canadians to see what their feelings are on certain topics you can choose.

One nagging question we posed to Polly as a reflection of the concerns of many Canadians, is how much is the new COVID-19 “variant of concern,” dubbed the Omicron variant, really a concern for Canadians?

Generally, Canadians are either not particularly worried about Omicron or they’re suffering from COVID fatigue. Or perhaps people are just too busy with the holiday season to think about Omicron. Polly sees that interest (what we call “engagement”) peaked when news of the variant entered the mainstream but generally tapered off with time. The graph below show interest peaked around November 30 when Omicron was at the top of every newscast but by today there is barely no engagement in spite of the fact of the daily coverage in the media.

Not surprisingly, interest is stronger in BC and Alberta but less so in the prairies, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. Younger people (under 45) are less concerned about Omicron whereas people 55 and over are generally more engaged on the topic.

In the above graph, the blue bar shows engagement by income and the orange dot indicates an expected statistical average. This shows that people with lower incomes are much less engaged on the topic while higher income earners are disproportionately concerned and engaged on the new variant. So to answer the original question, the “variant of concern” doesn’t seem to be of particular concern to Canadians. At least not at this point in time.

Ask Polly
Do you have a question for Polly? Send your question to Polly at the address below. Topics can be anything that can be formulated as a question and that people tend to talk about on social media. Questions should begin with “How do Canadians feel about…” or “What do Ontarians think about…” We can also do comparisons of Canadian and American sentiment on a topic. You can reference news articles or websites for samples. Note that we cannot reference brand names.

*ASI reserves the right to judge which topics are appropriate.

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