Ontarians feeling frustrated and anxious during lockdown

In this file photo, people arrive at the entrance to the Toronto Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto, Ontario on November 23, 2020, the first day of a new lockdown in the city.

Ontario residents say they are feeling frustrated, anxious, bored and isolated as the province continues to deal with the third wave of COVID-19 and the ongoing stay-at-home order.

A poll from Maru Public Opinion shows the province is in a more pessimistic mood at the moment than earlier in the year.

While in February and early March just 52% of Ontario residents agreed with the statement that, “Where I live, things will get worse before they get better,” that statement now sees 68% of the population agreeing.

While that is down from 81% in March 2020 and just below the 70% recorded in January, it is a significant increase in negative feelings.

The poll also tested how people responded to 11 positive and 11 negative feelings — the results were 63% negative and 37% positive. Frustrated was selected by 39% of the public, anxious by 37%, and bored by 36% of the population.

The first positive feeling to appear was fortunate, chosen by 35% of the population but quickly followed by isolated  — also selected by 35% of the public.

Ontarians have been in a negative mood for more than a year now, a mood that is decidedly more negative than in other parts of Canada and our neighbours to the south.

While only 37% of Ontario residents are expressing positive feelings, 43% of Canadians across the country are in a positive mood compared to 55% of Americans.

A full 53% of Ontarians say that COVID-19 has had a negative impact on their mental health, while 38% say that the pandemic has had a negative impact on their physical health. Just over one-third, 34%, say that the quality of their sleep has declined.

As for getting back to normal, a strong majority say it will be 2022 or later before they’ll fly on a plane, stop wearing a mask, attend a large dinner party, a sporting event, concert or play.

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While 23% say they would be willing to eat on a restaurant patio now, that figure grows to 60% by summer. Meanwhile, just 14% say they would be willing to eat indoors at a restaurant immediately, a number that grows to just 40% by summer.

The poll of 600 Ontario residents was part of a larger national tracking survey conducted online using the Maru Voice Canada panel. For comparison purposes, the poll is considered accurate within 4%, 19 times out of 20.

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