Many Canadians are eager to resume usual activities despite COVID-19, but many people feel torn between the need to resume these activities and the fear of a second wave of the virus, says Statistics Canada.

In a survey conducted just last week, StatCan. found that more than six in 10 people reported being “very concerned” about the health risks of resuming shows, festivals, movies or sporting events (66%) and travelling by airplane (64%). As well, more than half of Canadians reported being very concerned about gathering in larger groups (57%), such as weddings and religious services, in addition to visiting a retirement home or long‑term care facility for the elderly (55%).

Most people OK with gathering in small groups

By contrast, a smaller percentage of Canadians expressed concern about gathering in small groups and visiting between houses (10%) or travelling using their own car (2%).

While changes in future behaviour are currently difficult to predict, Canadians’ concerns could lead to changes in certain habits in the long term, said StatCan. For example, fear of visiting someone living in a retirement home or long-term care facility could lead to a decrease in the frequency of family care for many seniors in these facilities.

In addition, some provincial and municipal governments have made it mandatory to wear masks in indoor public spaces, and this has led to changes in how some activities take place. Relaxing lockdown measures may therefore constitute a source of anxiety and concern for these people, who are more reluctant to resume their activities and are more concerned about health risks, said StatCan.