Women in Canada are less tolerant of lockdowns as a tactic to control the spread of COVID-19 than men, a new Ipsos poll suggests.
The poll, conducted on behalf of Global News, found women were more likely to say their provinces were doing “too much” to combat Omicron, with 33 per cent agreeing. On the other hand, 37 per cent of men believe their province is doing “too little.”
“Women, particularly young women, seem to be more hesitant and reluctant when it comes to all kinds of things related to COVID-19, including vaccination,” said Sean Simpson, senior vice-president at Ipsos Public Affairs. on Wednesday.
Collectively, Canadians’ tolerance for lockdowns is declining. Only 52 per cent of those polled indicated they accept lockdowns for as long as it takes to bring Omicron under control, a decline of five percentage points since December.
Among those 52 per cent, more men (55 per cent) than women (49 per cent) said they support lockdowns to combat Omicron.
If women are more against vaccination, then they are less in favour of other interventions, Simpson said.
“Those underlying attitudes that are driving the opinions of women are actually fairly consistent with some of the other data that we’ve been seeing.”
Meanwhile, more women polled said provincial health-care systems require additional financing to boost capacity and resume elective surgeries that had been halted because of Omicron, with 90 per cent agreeing that this is essential, three percentage points ahead of men.
Earene Lam, a 51-year-old project manager, has been self-isolated for nearly two years since the beginning of the pandemic. Her son Alex, who is a figure skater, lost his income and ability to train for Ontario University Athletics (OUA) because of the new variant because arenas were closed to non-elite athletes.
“Malls stayed open, but they [the provincial government] closed organized sports and only allowed a subset of elite athletes to train,” she said.
“If you don’t allow grassroots to take place in provincial sport organizations, who will there be for university, provincial, national, international competitions or meets? You can already see it in gymnastics and figure skating, where early specialization in skills is important.”
She said the provincial government should review strict COVID-19 protocols and lift sports-related restrictions by classifying certain types of sport as elite sports that are under provincial sport organizations or national sport organizations to alleviate the economic burden of athletes from long-term loss of training.
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between Jan. 14 and 17, 2022, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online. The poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.