A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 speaks with a woman using a plastic bag to cover her mouth, as the snow-covered north shore mountains and a gantry crane at the Port of Vancouver are seen in the distance, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, December 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 speaks with a woman using a plastic bag to cover her mouth, as the snow-covered north shore mountains and a gantry crane at the Port of Vancouver are seen in the distance, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, December 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

British Columbians hang on to silver linings of pandemic world

Gratitude and appreciation for ‘the important things in life’ at the top of the list

By Charlie Carey

Despite the tumultuous nature of the ongoing pandemic, a majority of British Columbians have said they are coping well by holding on to a few silver linings.

A new survey released Wednesday (Dec. 30) by Insights West suggests that around 66 per cent of respondents rated their personal and emotional job of handling the pandemic positively. The remaining respondents said they were doing ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ with handling the pandemic.

The survey asked 823 British Columbians various questions about their experiences this year.

“In a news world that has been plagued by bad news since the pandemic began, it is refreshing to attach some positive outcomes associated with our lives in 2020,” said Insights West president Steve Mossop.

When asked about possible positive outcomes of the pandemic, gratitude and appreciation for “the important things in life” were at the top of the list.

Seventy-nine per cent of respondents noted that “more appreciation for friends and family” was a positive of the year, with 39 per cent of those respondents saying they felt it was a “major positive outcome.”

“What is interesting to note is the heightened state of being, and meditative elements that made their way up the list of aspects that people have experienced as a positive outcome as a result of these trying times. Elements such as gratitude, appreciation, reflection, relationships and personal growth that can be attributed to the pandemic,” Mossop said.

Although most British Columbians are coping well, the pandemic has had a disproportionately negative effect on some sections of the community – most notably women. Women were more likely (41 per cent) to give negative ratings, compared to men (27 per cent).

Those earning under $75,000 per year were also seen to be most negatively affected by the pandemic. The survey, however, did not include a breakdown of results by minority communities, such as race or sexuality.

Visiting friends and family was the most missed activity, according to the survey. Over 90 per cent of respondents chose this as their number one result of the pandemic. Although restaurants are still open for dine-in service under pandemic rules, 89 per cent of respondents also said they missed this experience.

Visiting the office, however, was the least missed activity out of a possible 18 choices. Only 32 per cent of respondents said they miss this, and a meager three per cent chose it as one of their top three missed activities.

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