British Columbia

Pandemic increases stress but strengthens relationships, poll suggests

All the stress, anxiety, boredom and loneliness that comes with physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic is being somewhat counterbalanced by strong bonds that people are building with their family and friends, according to a B.C. poll released Friday by Insights West.

An Insights West survey of 817 B.C. residents finds people are more lonely, bored and anxious

A survey of 817 B.C. residents found an alarming number of people are struggling with increased levels of anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Shutterstock / Tero Vesalainen)

All the stress, anxiety, boredom and loneliness that comes with physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic is being somewhat counterbalanced by strong bonds that people are building with their family and friends, according to a B.C. poll released Friday by Insights West.

Insights president Steve Mossop says about three quarters of people say their overall health is good or better during the pandemic but when you take a deeper dive into the data, it suggests that many people are struggling.

"This is the first time we have looked at how this has made people feel, and how they are coping," Mossop said. 

"The results show the dramatic effect that this pandemic has had on the overall mental health and well-being of British Columbians, and it has been significant."

In the survey of 817 B.C. residents, nearly two thirds of respondents say they're feeling more worried than usual.

There are also concerning spikes in people feeling more bored than usual (59 per cent), more anxious (57 per cent) and more lonely (43 per cent).

Mossop says the silver lining appears to be that people appear to be forming stronger relationships at home.

"Even though people are experiencing this worry, stress, boredom and loneliness, the plus side is that relationships are improving for the most part," he said.

Nearly a third of parents say their relationship with their children has improved and more than a quarter of respondents say the situation has made their marriage or partnership better.

Work relationships, however, do not appear to have gained the same boost — 18 per cent of people say they're better than before the pandemic, which is roughly the same as the number of respondents (14 per cent) who say they are worse.  

A comparable margin of error—which measures sample variability—would be +/- 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?

now