Canadians say the pandemic has brought them together, US feels the opposite

Aug 27 2020, 1:03 pm

A majority of Canadians feel like the COVID-19 pandemic has brought us all closer together, while our neighbours to the south feel the opposite, a new poll has revealed.

In a poll conducted by the Pew Research Centre into how the coronavirus has impacted national unity of 14 “advanced economies,” they learned that the United States and Canada have very different views when it comes to the crisis.

In Canada, 66% of respondents said they believe their country is more united because of the pandemic, joining Sweden, South Korea, and Australia on the list of nations that rated over 50%. A total of 29% of Canadians said it has divided the country further.

% of people who said the pandemic had further ___ their country. (Pew Research)

In the US, the figures trend in the opposite direction. Pew found that 71% of Americans felt like the illness has divided the country even more, while 18% felt more united with their fellow Americans.

“Though Americans of all ideological tilts say the country has become more divided, Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (81%) are more likely than Republicans and Republican leaners (74%) to say division has increased,” Pew wrote in their summary of the findings.

Researchers found that in every country surveyed, those who think their country has done a bad job of dealing with the coronavirus outbreak are more likely to say that their country is now more divided.

The results bare out that fact, as only 11% of Canadians categorized their government’s response as bad, compared to 52% of Americans, while 88% of Canadians said the northern nation was doing a good job, compared to 47% of Americans.

% who say “my country has done a ___ job dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.” (Pew Research)

Of all the countries, an average of 46% feels more unity now than before the coronavirus outbreak, while 48% think national divisions have grown. In addition, a median of 58% says their lives have changed a great deal or fair amount due to coronavirus, with women, in particular, feeling the effects of the virus “most acutely.”

To conduct the study, a sample of 1,037 Canadians and 1,503 Americans were contacted by phone, each having a 4% and 3% margin of error, respectively.

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