The pandemic has disproportionately affected young people and households with children, according to the findings of a large, population health survey of British Columbians and their experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic.
About 395,000 British Columbians participated in the BC COVID-19 SPEAK: Your story, our future population health survey in May 2020. The findings provide some of the most detailed insight into how people experienced the pandemic and how those experiences varied by population and by region.
The results are displayed in an interactive dashboard www.bccdc.ca/covid19survey and provide insight into what British Columbians have to say about the impact of the pandemic and public health measures on social, economic, physical health, mental wellness and community resiliency.
The results of the survey show young people, those between 18 and 29-years-old, were more likely than the general population to lose work, to have difficulty meeting financial needs, and that they anticipated their financial situation worsening. Households with children were more likely to report worsening mental health, reduced sleep, increased alcohol consumption and feelings of extreme stress.
"In public health, we have a responsibility to monitor the effects and unintended consequences of the pandemic on the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities in B.C.," said Dr. Réka Gustafson, Vice-President of Public Health and Wellness for the Provincial Health Services Authority and Deputy Provincial Health Officer. "This survey helps us understand more about the pandemic experience of British Columbians and pays particular attention to those who bear a disproportionate burden at this challenging time."
The survey and dashboard were funded by the BCCDC Foundation for Public Health.