COVID: 3 Years Later

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March 31, 2023 – About 3 years after the first COVID-19 lockdown began, Pollara Strategic Insights today released a new research report detailing Canadians’ views and experiences regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The report also includes public assessments of the government responsiveness during the pandemic and government preparedness for another, future pandemic.  

In terms of the health impact of COVID, more than half (55%) of adult Canadians report catching COVID-19 over the past 3 years – with 43% testing positive and 13% believing they have caught it (without confirming via test). Those who report catching COVID in the past 3 years are far more likely to say they have caught it once (68%) than multiple times (22%). And, half say their symptoms were mild while a quarter say their symptoms were severe.  

  • Notably, 1-in-10 (9%) of those who have caught COVID say they have been diagnosed with (3%), or believe they have (6%), Long COVID.
  • Two-thirds of Canadians still wear a face mask to protect themselves at least some of the time – just 34% say they never wear a mask

Turning to the relationship impacts of the pandemic, about one-in-five Canadians report having lost a family member or friend who died due to COVID. 7-in-10 feel Canada is more divided since the pandemic, and a quarter – or almost 10 million Canadians – have stopped talking to a friend or family member over COVID-related disagreements.  

When considering the job done by governments responding to the pandemic, 6-in-10 feel the federal government did a good job overall, and 7-in-10 feel the same about the job done procuring vaccines for Canadians.  

  • Less than half of the residents of Alberta (39%), Manitoba (41%), Saskatchewan (48%), and Ontario (49%) feel their provincial governments did a good job managing the pandemic, whereas clear majorities (62-82%) in the other provinces approve of the job done by their provincial governments.

Looking towards the future, three-quarters of Canadians believe there will be another pandemic in the next 20-30 years. However, only four-in-ten feel federal and provincial governments are currently prepared for it.  

Read our new report for more details.  Also, to see where public opinion stood at the start of the pandemic, see our first public opinion report on COVID, conducted in Late March 2020.  

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