FUREY: New survey shows majority of Canadians are ready to live with COVID-19

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During much of the pandemic, opinion polls indicated that Canadians had broadly supported government actions related to COVID-19. The closures have generally received the approval of two-thirds of respondents.

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But there are now signs that those numbers have been reversed. It now appears to be the case that while one-third of people remain fearful of COVID, two-thirds of people are done with fear and with restrictions on their lives. Governments must be warned.

The emergence of the omicron variant has brought a new set of fear-mongering headlines. What if it was more deadly? What if he escapes the vaccines? What if new cases skyrocket out of control?

This is the news cycle that unfolded in previous waves and following the emergence of other variants. It felt like a vicious circle with no end.

The other week I wrote that we have been conditioned to have a Pavlovian response to the scary virus stories: Reports are coming in that the cases are on the rise and the public is screaming “Lock us up!” But the cycle can now be broken.

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A new poll from Maru Public Opinion reveals that even in the face of fear of omicron, Canadians are simply no longer affected by COVID. They are ready to move on.

“I’m staying at home more because of the new COVID variant virus, including fewer shopping trips” was one of the lines the pollster asked respondents. Two-thirds (62%) disagreed.

Three-quarters disagreed with the sentence: “The new COVID variant virus is forcing my workplace or my ability to work to take new precautions.”

Three-quarters also said there was no way to do it: “I already have to cancel or postpone travel plans (business or pleasure) because of this new COVID variant virus.”

What is interesting is that these respondents also seem to have an exaggerated view of the seriousness of omicron. Half agreed with this sentence: “This Omicron variant virus is underestimated, it will be both highly contagious and
deadlier than the last wave of COVID ”.

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There are little to no credible medical voices claiming that omicron is more deadly. So if the majority of Canadians say they can go about their business assuming omicron is worse, they would be even more relaxed if more of them thought omicron was equally or less deadly.

One of Maru’s other questions offers a possible explanation as to why people are relatively relaxed. Two-thirds agreed with this sentence: “Regardless of this new variant of the COVID virus, current vaccines or
immunity will protect them from what it could represent ”.

It’s been weird watching some doctors and health officials on TV undermine confidence in vaccines – which you do once you start thinking about increasing the restrictions for everyone, even after you’ve hit it. a 90% vaccination rate.

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If the above public opinions could be pulled together into one comprehensive perspective, I would say it is that the majority of Canadians now want to live with the virus.

They were good at supporting the rules initially to flatten the curve and protect hospitals. They went to be vaccinated. Now they want to get on with their lives.

In addition, they also found that the relationship between the virus and human activity had not exploded. There are millions of people who for months have been going to the gym, meeting friends for dinner, and flocking to sports and entertainment venues – and they know that everything has gone well and that nothing has happened. serious only happened because of this. Why should they stop now?

Canadians are compassionate people, they want to protect the vulnerable and go far to care for the sick. But if they start to think that these things can be done without having harmful restrictions on our lives, then they would be right.

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