Polly, our AI-based market and public opinion researcher, has been looking at how Canadians are handling the present COVID-19 crisis. Morale among Canadians dipped slightly to 60% during the Easter holiday — attributable to the absence, in many cases, of family gatherings. The feelings didn’t persist though, and morale was up to 70% following the Holiday. How does Polly measure morale? Polly searches social media feeds for community solidarity, a willingness to support others in shared goals – she’s basically assessing the health of the social fabric. At this time people believe their efforts are contributing to a positive outcome.
Compliance with ‘Shelter in place’ orders
While Canadians are generally peaceful, law-abiding citizens, they stepped a bit out of character during the Easter holiday. Polly saw a significant increase in travel, especially in Ontario. Compared to the previous weekend, Polly saw 25% more Ontarians travelling in spite of the fact that a number of essential services were closed both Friday and Sunday. It’s safe to say that this increased travel was for recreational purposes.
Of the 4 “big” provinces, British Columbians did the best job of staying home with only an 8% increase in travel compared to the previous weekend. Quebec’s rate of travel increased by 14%, mirroring the average increase in travel for Canada.
Fear and anxiety
Polly also looked at how Canadians expressed anxiety and fear during the last few weeks. While about 15% of us have been openly expressing fears and concerns online, roughly one-third of those are parents talking about such things as anxiety over grocery store visits and how to protect their children when leaving home for essentials. What used to be a simple, everyday occurrence is turning into a stressful situation.
On the other hand, parents are sharing advice on how to keep their kids motivated, how to structure learning lessons, and talking about school closures/re-openings. These conversations are helping Canadians to be constructive about their current challenges, channeling their anxiety into productive/active behaviours.
So yeah, we’re doing okay.