NATIONAL PULSE – Omicron adds to the stress of the holiday season

(Image: World Health Organization)


December 6, 2021 – Like the ghost of Christmas past, the stress of another holiday season during the COVID-19 pandemic is presenting itself in many Canadian homes against the backdrop of questions about the Omicron variant, its spread, and the efficacy of previously administered vaccines on this strain of the virus.

The latest data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds Canadian concern over contracting the virus rebounding after a decrease in November. Three-in-five Canadians now say they are concerned about becoming sick and three-quarters (73%) say they are worried their friends or family will be infected by COVID-19.

As people around the world wait to better understand the way Omicron behaves, a majority of Canadian parents say they are ready to get their young children vaccinated. Half (54%) of those with children five to 11 years old say they will be inoculating their child as soon as possible, while another one-in-seven (16%) say they will wait but will ultimately do so.

That said, the early days of this age group’s vaccine rollout have done little to sway parents on the fence about having their child vaccinated. These data are largely unchanged since the Angus Reid Institute first canvassed parents in October.

Uncertainty over Omicron notwithstanding, the still-dominant Delta variant appears to be having a significant impact on how families handle family dinners and friendly festivities as the holidays begin in earnest.

With 76 per cent of the population fully vaccinated, the number of people planning to attend workplace parties, visit friends locally, and have holiday dinners is rebounding closer to pre-pandemic levels. That said, a firm majority (61%) say they will only be spending time with those who are vaccinated.

More Key Findings:

  • Concern about becoming sick from COVID-19 is highest among those 55 years of age and older. Two-thirds (66%) in this group are worried about the possibility.
  • Four-in-five Canadians (80%) say they plan to have dinner with their family this year to celebrate the holidays – a 22-point increase over 2020, but still not at 2019 levels.
  • Two-in-five (38%) say vaccination should be mandatory in their child’s school.

Link to the poll here:

About Mel Rothenburger (9504 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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