Canadians have finally started decreasing their social activities and taking more precautions. While social gatherings in homes increased through the end of December, they are now down since the start of January. These are the findings from INNOVATIVE’s Canada This Month survey, in field from January 6th to 11th, 2022 with a sample size of 1,420 Canadian residents. A detailed methodology is provided in the report.
Compared to holidays, Canadians are now less likely to be visiting or hosting friends and family at their homes. While late December saw a decline in shopping and other retail activities, it also saw a rise in indoor social gatherings with 61% reporting they visited a friend or family in their home and 45% saying they gathered with a small group. These numbers have now declined to only 23% of Canadians saying they gathered in a small group and 41% saying they visited a friend or family in their home.
This has resulted in a significant drop in moderately risky behaviours. In late December 72% of Canadians were engaged in moderately risky activities while now only 52% are doing the same.
Protective behaviours are also up directionally. Now, 46% of Canadians say they always social distance while outside of the house, up from only 41% in late December. Similarly, 66% say they always wear a mask out of the house now compared to only 60% in December.
INNOVATIVE uses self-reported social activities and protective behaviours to cluster similar Canadians together based on the level of risk they are taking. In late December, the share of Canadians who are extra cautious (taking every precaution while avoiding as many social encounters as possible) dropped to 14%, the lowest since the pandemic started. This is how doubled to 30% who are being extra cautious while only 11% of Canadians are still living under the old normal.
With the decrease in social activities, there has also been an increase in behavioural fatigue. More Canadians now than ever agree that they can’t keep up the current changes to their life for much longer and for the first time more Canadians agree than disagree with that statement.
Canadians are now taking more actions to keep themselves safe from COVID-19, but it is not clear how long they will be able to keep them up.