Caddle Rapid Response Insights - COVID-19

General sentiment: growing anxiety among Canadians

Our focus at Caddle is accelerating time to insight. Now more than ever, these rapid insights matter.

That’s why starting today we’ll be dedicating our entire daily survey schedule to coronavirus issues in order to provide our readers with rapid access to the most in-depth cross section of Canadian-specific coronavirus insights.

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So what are Canadians thinking right now? Well, we’ve seen a big shift in attitudes — changes that we’ll likely keep seeing as Canadians respond to an unprecedented and fast-changing time.

Recap: What events are driving these results?

A lot happened between when we first surveyed the panel, and when we followed up.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called on Canadians abroad to return home, the US and Canada closed their border to non-essential travel, and provincial governments brought in a range of measures to promote social distancing.

How did this affect Canadian attitudes to the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Understandably, this impacted sentiments for all Canadians, as we begin to realize the impact this will have on our lives. 

What’s the one emotion we’re feeling?

Since we last asked the Caddle panel, anxiety has become the dominant emotion Canadians associate with the COVID-19 pandemic.

When asked on February 29th, 41% of respondents cited anxiety as the emotion they associated most with coronavirus. As of last week that figure was 58%.

This is at the expense of other types of reactions to the crisis. Every other sentiment tracked by Caddle, including ‘none of the above’ decreased between the two surveys.

But despite this widespread unease, there is still an underlying sense of confidence for how Canada will come through the pandemic.

Close to half of Canadians say they feel positive about Canada’s ability to manage coronavirus, compared to only a quarter who feel negatively.  We’ll be keeping a close eye on this metric and will be reporting back in the weeks ahead.

Have we realised how big this is?

Unsurprisingly, Canadians everywhere are facing up to the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

It has increasingly dominated conversation. Approximately 90% of respondents stated that they have often heard about the pandemic in the past week, compared to 68% three weeks ago.

When we first asked Caddle members about coronavirus, just 37% said concerns were impacting their way of life. 

 

Since then, with school closures, border closures, and many companies moving to remote working, 80% of survey respondents said the pandemic was likely to impact their way of life. 

Which generation is the most concerned?

Despite frequent reports of younger generations failing to heed social distancing guidelines, it is actually younger Canadians who appear to be most concerned about Canada’s prospects during the crisis.

In every age group, more respondents feel more positively than negatively about Canada’s capacity to cope with coronavirus. However, there is a trend towards lower confidence among younger Canadians.

More than half of Baby Boomers have a positive outlook on Canada’s ability to handle the crisis with fewer than one in five in this group (19.4%) holding a negative outlook.

But the younger the generation the more negative the outlook gets. More than a quarter of Millennials feel negatively about Canadian’s capacity to cope, while 30% of Gen Z have either a negative or very negative outlook.

Age also seems to shape the emotions we feel about coronavirus. Anxiety, unsurprisingly was the overriding emotion across all age groups. Behind this, Gen Z Canadians were more likely to say they felt anger and surprise. In contrast, older generations were more likely to feel sadness. 

Which province is most worried?

According to our data, how optimistic you are about Canada’s ability to cope with the COVID-19 depends on which region you live in.

Provinces with the higher number of cases were more pessimistic in outlook.

The province with the highest number of reported cases at the time of the survey, British Columbia, had the smallest proportion of respondents with a positive outlook with 36% compared to a national average of 47%. 

Canada’s westernmost province was also the most pessimistic. Almost one third of respondents feeling negatively about Canada’s ability to manage the crisis. In fact, the net positivity in British Columbia was just 6%, compared to 21.7 for Canada as a whole.

Quebec is the province the next highest proportion of people with a negative view, with 28% feeling pessimistic about how our nation will cope.

However, this doesn’t mean Quebecers on the whole negative in outlook. Residents were more inclined to express an option either way. 

People in Ontario or Alberta, where confirmed cases are also in the hundreds, are much more likely to neutral when it comes to Canada’s coronavirus prospects.

Social media information is vital

The combination of a rapidly-evolving situation, as well as the increased isolation of social distancing means we will become increasingly reliant on what we hear through social media.

This is something not lost on all generations of Canadians. Across the Caddle panel, more than two thirds stated that social media plays a significant or very significant role in keeping them up to date on coronavirus.

With such a crucial role being played by social media, the reliability of that information becomes even more important, across the world. It even led to last week’s unusual joint statement from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and others that they would be working closely to fight misinformation on the internet.

Will social live up to its potential to be a crucial source of truth? Our panel will be able to give us their thoughts as the situation unfolds.

What are Caddle Rapid Response Insights?

The data is based on 10,000 daily responses in the Caddle app, available for free. Anyone can join the panel. Just download the Caddle app to get started.

These are the findings from our initial surveys. From here, we’ll be expanding and diversifying the topics we look at. If there’s a crucial issue to your business that we can ask, reach out to a Caddle rep for find out more.

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