SaskWatch Research Blog

Category: COVID Coping (page 1 of 8)

COVID Coping: Issue No. 89

Self-reported mental health is strong, with the highest proportion of people feeling positive since the beginning of 2022. In fact, the last time this many people reported positive mental health was just before Christmas and before that, at the end of last summer.

Stress due to the pandemic has continued to decline, matching levels last seen in the summer of 2021.

Despite improved mental health and reduced stress, outlook for the coming weeks remains steady with half of residents thinking things will remain the same.

Claimed public mask-wearing remains prevalent. Tied to this, equal proportions have either mentally moved on from COVID or remain concerned about the pandemic.

On the positive side, residents document many inspiring and heart-warming stories during their pandemic trials. These experiences can be bottled up into the following themes:

Some quotables include…

Since the pandemic’s beginning, we started sharing a few brief insights from our online community, SaskWatch Research®.

COVID Coping: Issue No. 88

Self-reported mental health drops this week, potentially due to non-pandemic-related events such as the war in Ukraine or gasoline prices, while stress specifically due to the pandemic remains steady.

Outlook for the coming weeks stabilizes with more people thinking things are going to stay the same.

One half say they continue to wear masks in public places most of the time while one quarter only wear a mask if required to by a business.

However, close to six in ten say they would feel welcome to enter a public space without wearing a mask. Those who choose to not wear a mask feel more welcome going unmasked in public spaces than those who choose to wear masks regularly.

One half have been to places this past week that still require people to wear a mask. Medical facilities are the most common places residents have been asked to still wear a mask, followed by retail stores.

We’ll be taking a break next week but plan to be back with another issue the week of March 21.

COVID Coping: Issue No. 87

Self-reported mental health remains steady while stress levels due to the pandemic soften.

Outlook for the coming weeks improves.

A large proportion continues to wear masks even though the mandate was lifted this week. However, many are still comfortable spending time around those who are not wearing a mask.

With lifted COVID-19 restrictions, residents report higher comfort levels visiting restaurants, shopping malls, gyms, and other public places.

COVID Coping: Issue No. 86

Self-reported mental health and stress due to the pandemic hold relatively steady.

Outlook for the weeks is slightly less optimistic.

With reduced access to provincial COVID-19 data, one third say they are paying less attention to active cases, hospitalizations and COVID-19-related deaths in Saskatchewan. Only one in ten are following things more closely.

Residents offer mixed assessments of active cases in Saskatchewan right now. Nearly four in ten believe cases are rising while fewer believe cases are either remaining the same or declining. Close to one third are uncertain.

Only one quarter of residents believe we’re coming to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most plan to keep wearing a mask in public after mandates around mask-wearing are lifted at the end of February.

COVID Coping: Issue No. 85

Self-reported mental health remains relatively low but stress due to the pandemic softens.

Outlook for the weeks ahead continues to improve, while concern over the Omicron variant drops further.

Most of those who have received the first vaccine booster are receptive to receiving another booster shot if it becomes available.

Although still divided, more residents this week are supportive of restrictions being loosened in Saskatchewan. Among those opposed to loosening restrictions, most feel such changes should not take place until March or even further down the road.

Residents are also very much divided on whether the federal government should have invoked the Emergencies Act to address protests and blockades. While nearly all of those unvaccinated oppose the measure, four in ten of those vaccinated also oppose invoking the Act.

COVID Coping: Issue No. 84

Self-reported mental health holds steady while stress levels rise again.

Outlook for the coming weeks remains largely steady, with a rise in those anticipating things will get worse.

A majority say they are ready to move on and live with the pandemic and a similar proportion say they are sick of wearing masks. Only three in ten believe this is the last major wave of COVID-19.

Public support for loosening restrictions in the coming weeks is very much divided. Those in favour of ending restrictions are much more likely to have positive outlooks for the future while those opposed feel the opposite.

Support for the truck convoy protests in Ottawa is softening.

COVID Coping: Issue No. 83

Self-reported mental health remains steady while stress due to the pandemic softens notably

In line with decreasing stress levels, outlook for the coming weeks continues to improve and concerns over Omicron reach a record low.

Supporting the decline in concern, almost four in ten think of COVID-19 as similar to the common flu versus something more serious.

However, opinions remain divided as to whether or not proof of vaccination requirements to enter certain businesses in Saskatchewan should be removed.

Opinions about the truck convoy that has travelled to Ottawa are mixed. Four in ten support the lobby to remove vaccine requirements for truckers crossing the Canada/U.S. border and to reduce pandemic restrictions in general. One half support the convoy protesting against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in general.

Those who live in rural areas of the province tend to be more supportive of the truck convoy efforts.

COVID Coping: Issue No. 82

Self-reported mental health improves slightly as stress due to the pandemic eases.

Despite the sustained rise in cases, outlook for the next few weeks improves for the first time in over two months. Supporting this, concern over the Omicron variant subsides.

However, despite changes announced by the provincial government yesterday, four in ten believe restrictions should be increased. Findings are similar to that of the middle of Saskatchewan’s fourth wave of COVID-19.

Resident support for the struggling restaurant industry is strong amidst the risk of permanent closures.

One in four say they are very likely to dine in at a local restaurant and four in ten say they are very likely to order takeout to support the local industry.

COVID Coping: Issue No. 81

Self-reported mental health softens slightly, but stress due to the pandemic rises to near-record levels.

With rising stress, outlook for the weeks ahead remains weak, with most feeling things will continue to get worse or remain in a depressed state.

A strong majority continue to be concerned about Omicron, but the level of concern has not risen notably despite wide transmission of the variant throughout the province in recent weeks.

About one-half have reportedly taken a COVID-19 test within the past 2-weeks, most commonly an at-home, self-administered rapid antigen tests. Frequency of self-testing is likely tied to the fact that three in four residents know someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the past two weeks.

Perhaps also tied to rising stress levels, one half of residents are resigning themselves to the fact that they will likely catch the Omicron variant despite taking safety measures.

COVID Coping: Issue No. 80

Self-reported mental health remains relatively low and stress levels moderately high.

While specific concerns about Omicron level-off, outlook for the next few weeks remains pessimistic.

Most report using disposable masks, with just over one in ten residents donning N95 masks.

With rising case numbers, many residents claim to be reducing their activities, particularly travel, attending indoor gatherings, going to movie theatres, visiting restaurants going to shopping malls.

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