COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted families: survey

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a heavy burden on families, and in particular, women, according to a new survey.

The poll was conducted by the Coalition for work-life balance (CCFTE), gathering responses from 1,009 people, 90 per cent of whom were women.

It showed that seven out of ten people had more difficulty navigating work, family life and studies during the pandemic.

This was particularly true for student parents and single-parents.

Things that predominantly undermined respondents' quality of life, mental health and income include the closure of schools, childcare services and daycare centres, as well as a lack of support networks, pressure to perform and an inability to visit relatives.

Seventy-seven per cent of people reported the pandemic has had an impact on their mental health.

In addition, 79 per cent of caregivers said their responsibilities increased as a result of the health crisis.

Others noted their mental health has suffered from the difficulties of having to do everything at once.

While it has kept many businesses open, working from home created challenges for many respondents, who noted they did not have a suitable place to set up an office at home.

For half of the respondents, this was made even harder due to homeschooling elementary and secondary school children while teleworking.

The pandemic has also had a direct financial impact on 17 per cent of respondents, who say their financial situation is now more precarious.

The survey revealed that the pandemic has been very stressful for single parents, students, blended families, people with non-standard working hours, ethnocultural communities, people working in essential services and women.

Members of ethnocultural communities reported the lowest number of absences from work due to symptoms of COVID-19, at 47 per cent compared to an average of 55 per cent for the total sample.

The authors of the survey believe this may be because people from these communities often work lower-income, non-unionized jobs that do not offer the option of paid time off.

For the methodology, 1,009 people responded to the online survey between March 18 and April 12.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 1, 2021. 

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