Canada’s younger population believes that measures to control the Omicron variant have been too drastic, while older people feel the opposite, according to a recent Ipsos poll.
The results show that 43 per cent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 say that the restrictions brought in to limit the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant are “too much.” On the other hand, 21 per cent of citizens over 55 consider that they are not.
“When we look at top issues that Canadians believe that our leaders should focus on, health care is always number one for those aged 55 plus,” said Sean Simpson, vice-president of Ipsos Public Affairs.
“The belief of whether or not COVID-19 presents a significant risk to your health is driven by age.”
According to Simpson, what determines and drives thoughts regarding restrictions is the risk Omicron poses for each age group.
“Younger people are much less likely to think that this is serious for them or anybody else. They are less likely to want to get vaccinated, less likely to support lockdowns, less likely to support any kind of intervention because it’s not as risky to them,” Simpson said.
Economic factors may also be at play, he added.
“Many people wait until they are 55 to retire. A lockdown for them is almost didn’t consequential because if they are retired, they are not going to work and can get groceries delivered,” Simpson said.
Geraldine Cardenas, a 31-year-old resident of Brampton, Ont., feels that the restrictions adopted by the government have been too drastic. She believes none of the measures have been effective.
“By closing everything, the only thing they are achieving is to make people depressed,” Cardenas said.
“Likewise, firing an employee, discriminating against them or requiring a vaccination passport to enter certain places because they are not vaccinated makes no sense.”
Cardenas said she has followed the vaccination program so she can work at a transportation company. Lockdowns have a financial effect on her family.
“Since my job cannot be remote, I would no longer receive that income, which is my main income. The lockdowns have affected me and my family,” she said. “The financial assistance from the government has not been enough to cover our expenses.”
This Ipsos survey was conducted between Jan. 14 and 17, 2022, on behalf of Global News. A sample of 1,001 Canadians over the age of 18 was interviewed online. In this case, the poll has an accuracy of ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.