Something To Think About

In new research commissioned by Rapid Test & Trace Canada – and conducted among members of the online Angus Reid Forum – it was found that 84% of Canadians are not planning to travel over March Break 2022.

Over a third (36%) say they are planning to visit with friends and family. Among this group, only 11% are planning to ask those friends and family to take a COVID test before meeting up and mingling with other households.

In hopes of preventing more COVID-19 infections over March Break and St. Patrick’s Day, the survey looked closely at how Canadians fared with COVID over Christmas.

Key national findings of the survey reveal that:

  • Over a quarter of Canadians (28%) say they have tested positive for COVID-19 at some point. 84% of those who have had COVID said that they caught it ‘since Omicron’ (roughly since the end of November 2021.)
  • A COVID Christmas — 16% of Canadians that contracted COVID say they tested positive in December 2021 and 41% said they got it in January 2022, squarely placing most respondent COVID infections (57%) during the height of the holiday season.

The research also asked if Canadians did the right thing, reporting that:

  • A total of 31% of Canadians said they avoided seeing friends and family that they didn’t think would take a pre-visit COVID test.
  • 43% of Canadians said they ‘gathered with family members and friends outside of their households’ over the past holiday season.
  • 65% gathered with at least five family members and friends, while 35% gathered with fewer than five.

As for COVID concerns, it found that:

  • 37% of Canadians think it’s ‘rude’ to ask friends and family to take a COVID test before visits.
  • 17% of Canadians who gathered with others over the holidays said that they or someone else in their family/friend group tested positive for COVID after their holiday gathering.
  • 26% of Canadians who gathered with others over the holidays say they asked their family/friends to take a COVID test before meeting up.
  • 11% of Canadians who plan to visit family/friends over March break plan intend to ask them to take a COVID test before seeing them

Sandy White, Co-founder of Rapid Test & Trace Canada, observed: “Clearly, the large number of COVID infections over our most recent holidays show that the safest way to ensure the safety of our friends and loved ones for March Break meetups is to simply take a COVID test first.”

White continued: “It’s very frustrating to see that only 11% of Canadians are planning to ask their group to test before meeting up, and even more disheartening to see that so many Canadians seem to think it’s somehow ‘rude’ to ask in the first place. We’re too close to getting through this to let down our guard now with bad decisions.”

The survey also asked the question of whether some Canadians suffer from bad RATitudes?

It points out that not everyone has embraced frequent testing for COVID-19, and some Canadians are irritating their friends and family with how they handle Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) and other COVID realities.

Asked which COVID behaviours irritate them most:

  • 50% of Canadians said, ‘people who think COVID is over, so there’s no need to take a test’
  • 44% said ‘people who think it’s unfair that their workplace requires rapid testing.’
  • 34% said ‘people who will tell anyone who will listen that we will all get COVID eventually.’
  • 31% said ‘people who refuse to take a test when asked by friends and family.’
  • 17% said people who say they will take a test before meeting family and friends, but ‘forget to.’
  • 8% said ‘people who have never taken a test.’

The survey also did a rapid test reality check, reporting that:

  • 57% of those who have tested positive for COVID say they used a rapid antigen test
  • 35% of Canadians who took a rapid test over the holidays reported NOT being able to get rapid tests provided free by the government
  • 25% believe ‘most Canadians’ asked friends and family to take COVID tests before meeting over the holidays.