As coronavirus vaccine rolls out, majority of Canadians optimistic about 2021: Ipsos

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As COVID-19 vaccine rolls out, majority of Canadians optimistic about 2021: Ipsos poll
WATCH: The poll conducted exclusively for Global News, found 72 per cent of Canadians were optimistic about 2021 – Dec 31, 2020

With the first coronavirus vaccines already distributed throughout the country, Canadians are ready to put 2020 behind them and start fresh with a new year, according to a recent Ipsos poll.

The poll, conducted by Ipsos exclusively for Global News, found that 72 per cent of Canadians feel optimistic about 2021.

“If you’re an optimist about it, across the board, you see 2021 is just sunshine and roses. If you’re on the other side of it, you have deep skepticism about our ability to get back on track,” Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos, said.

Read more: Could Moderna be authorized as a one-shot vaccine? Here’s what we know

However, the poll found the positive outlook depends on how quickly Canadians see COVID-19 being brought under control.

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Nearly nine in 10 of those who think COVID-19 will be controlled by the end of next year express optimism about 2021, the poll said. Those who don’t think the spread of the virus will be curbed by then are far more gloomy, with just 38 per cent saying they are optimistic about next year.

No matter the optimism, Canadians are still realistic that the coronavirus is not going away in the first few months of 2021, Bricker said.

Fifty-eight per cent of respondents were optimistic Canada will get the virus under control by the summer of 2021. But the poll found that 70 per cent believe it won’t be under control until the end of 2021.

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Doctors Manitoba on 2020 reflections and looking ahead to 2021

And when the country does start opening back up again, the poll found Canadians vary on what they want to do.

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Even if these activities are permitted in the first half of 2021, a majority said they are unlikely to do any of the following:

  • Attend a live sporting event: 76 per cent
  • Travel outside of Canada: 73 per cent
  • Attend a live concert, festival or play: 68 per cent
  • Go to a movie theatre: 60 per cent
  • Stay in a hotel: 59 per cent
  • Travel outside their province, but within Canada: 56 per cent

A majority of respondents (74 per cent) said they would likely shop in a mall if permitted and 68 per cent would eat in a sit-down restaurant.

Canadians also faced this scenario after the first coronavirus wave in the spring, and a sense of control is what made people comfortable with certain activities, Bricker said.

“We were seeing a lot of this back when things seemed to be getting better in the latter part of the summer and the early part of the fall when there was more of a conversation about how we’re going to get people re-engaged with their previous activities,” he said.

Read more: A ‘socially distanced’ concert — is this the future for music lovers?

The most important element with people engaging in activity amid a pandemic was “feeling that they could control their own safety in the environment,” he said.

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So a large rock concert may be out of the question, as it has big crowds, but maybe a picnic in the park may be more possible, he explained.

“And this is going to be the big challenge for all of those industries that are so reliant on basically crowd participation,” Bricker said.

Another question as the country opens up in 2021 is whether or not those who’ve been working from home will go back to the office.

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The poll found that 69 per cent of those who have worked from home over the past year said they miss being seeing their colleagues in person. However, 78 per cent said they’ve enjoyed working from home more often in 2020.

Looking ahead, about half of the respondents who have worked from home in 2020 expect to return to the office on a regular basis in 2021, but only half actually want to go back – rising to 69 per cent among those aged 18 to 34.

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Exclusive Global News Ipsos polls are protected by copyright. The information and/or data may only be rebroadcast or republished with full and proper credit and attribution to “Global News Ipsos.” This poll was conducted between Dec. 11 and Dec. 14, 2020, with a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ from Ipsos’ online panel. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. This poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled.

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