This report deals with various issues regarding the “post-COVID-19 era,” coined as such on account of its social, political, and economic impacts. The world is changing in a new direction, which signifies a metamorphosis of the global society. This report draws on the World COVID-19 Pandemic and Citizen Life Survey conducted between the 23rd of April and the 5th of June 2020 with 15.312 respondents. The sample was collected via a Computer Assisted Web Interview (CAWI) applying the stratified sampling method. As a global survey, this report outlines the responses of citizens from 30 cities, and the questions focus on their responses to COVID-19, their varying behavior in the course of the pandemic, their confidence in authorities, their support and/or opposition for stringency measures, and their political attitudes. In this particular file, the case of Toronto will be presented. For more detailed survey results, please refer to the attached file.
Review of COVID-19 Pandemic
- The Toronto respondents performed most of the personal quarantine measures well, and it was characteristic that they showed a high degree of compliance, especially in measures related to social distancing.
- When asked about the economic consequences of the pandemic, 27.5% of the Toronto respondents answered they would lose more than half of their income if they were to experience a 14-day-quarantine. In comparison, the global average for this figure was 30%.
- The Toronto respondents experienced a different degree of the following social impacts: medical appointment difficulties (51%), school closings (60%), and workplace closings (49%).
Anxiety and Hope
- If they were infected, the Toronto citizens surveyed would feel more anxious about the impacts on their families (3.91/5) than the world average (3.46/5) and feel more worried about the impact on their friends (3.52/5) than the global average (3.38/5).
- 34.4% of the Toronto respondents said they would feel “Not Very Anxious” or “Not Anxious at all” if they bumped into someone not wearing a face mask. The global average for the same figure is 29%.
- Toronto respondents reported feeling depressed (2.57/4), restless with their sleep (2.43/4), and lonely (2.58/4) at this time during the pandemic. The respective global average scores are 2.62, 2.50, and 2.70.
- In regard to their sense of hope about the future, 9.63% of the Toronto respondents said they have “Never” felt hopeful about the future during the pandemic. In comparison, 11.25% of the global citizens answered the same way.
Citizen’s evaluation of government COVID-19 policies
- Toronto respondents on average gave their own government’s COVID-19 management performance a score of 3.7 points out of 5. The global average was 3.43.
- When asked to give a score to each government, the Toronto respondents gave South Korea the highest score of 3.71 out of 5 and the United States the lowest score of 2.05 out of 5.
- On a scale of 1 to 5 with higher scores indicated more satisfaction, the Toronto respondents’ average scores of satisfactions with COVID-19 management policies were as follows: providing information on testing and the prevention of the epidemic (3.57), providing medical care assurance for patients (3.65), preventing the spread of infectious diseases (3.54), ensuring the emotional stability of the public (3.44), and ensuring medical staff safety (3.43).
- In general, the Toronto respondents were more likely to agree with school closings, closing of worship places, an entry ban of foreigners, and an internal moving ban than the global average.
- Among the four stringency measures stated above, Toronto respondents agreed with an internal moving ban the least (3.21/4).
Democracy or Authoritarianism
- On a scale of 1 to 4 with higher scores indicating a higher degree of satisfaction with their government, the Toronto respondents on average rated their satisfaction level 3.2 for human rights and 3.02 for democracy.
- We then asked Toronto citizens their opinions about emergency measures. On a scale of 1 to 10 with higher scores indicating a stronger belief that emergency measures will move the society more toward a democratic society, Toronto respondents scored 5.78 out of 10, while global citizens scored 5.52 out of 10.
- Regarding COVID-19 risk management, the Toronto respondents were on average in favor of government decisions over citizens' judgments.
- Meanwhile, the Toronto respondents supported rule of law more than supported rule by order.
Priorities of Quarantine Governance
- Toronto respondents’ level of support for prioritizing basic civil rights in COVID-19 management was 4.34 out of 10 on average, while the world average was 4.45.
- Toronto respondents’ level of agreement that economic recovery is more important than social distancing was 4.4 out of 10. The world average was 4.65.
Impacts of the Global Pandemic on National Level Consequences
- Regarding the national economy, 77% of the Toronto respondents said the COVID-19 pandemic has had a “Quite large negative impact” or a “Severe negative impact.” In comparison, the global average for this figure was 76.7%.
- As for social trust, 44% said the pandemic has had a “Quite large negative impact” or a “Severe negative impact.” The global average for this figure was 56.1%.
- In the case of living standards, 57.4% said the pandemic has had a “Quite large negative impact” or a “Severe negative impact.” The global average for this figure was 65.4%.
- On the quality of democracy, 31.6% said that the pandemic has had a “Quite large negative impact” or a “Severe negative impact.” The global average for this figure was 45.5%.
- The Toronto respondents reported trusting their family members (3.59/4) the most, followed by their colleagues (2.9/4), their neighbors (2.86/4), and immigrants (2.45/4).
- Concerning the four groups measured, the Toronto respondents reported an average trust in immigrants (2.45/4) more than the global average (2.07/4).
- Of the various institutions providing COVID-19 information, the Toronto respondents reported trusting medical experts (3.36/4) the most and social media (2.19/4) the least.
Fairness and Representation
- Toronto was top ranked in all fairness indicators.
- When considering the fairness of income distribution, Toronto respondents ranked 6th place out of 28 cities with a fairness perception score of 5.28 out of 10.
- When considering the fairness of educational opportunity, Toronto respondents ranked 7th place with a fairness perception score of 5.92.
- When considering the fairness of gender relations, Toronto respondents ranked 5th place with a fairness perception score of 6.14.
- When considering the fairness of political participation, Toronto respondents ranked 3rd place with a fairness perception score of 6.18.
- When considering the fairness of minority rights, Toronto respondents ranked 3rd place with a fairness perception score of 6.19.
- When considering the fairness of public debate, Toronto respondents ranked 3rd place with a fairness perception score of 5.73.
- When considering the fairness of representation of political parties, Toronto respondents ranked 5th place with a fairness perception score of 5.7.
- On a scale of 1 to 5 with higher scores indicating a higher frequency of communication with their acquaintances (family members, colleagues/customers, neighbors), the Toronto respondents on average scored the frequency 3.22 with family members, 2.58 with colleagues/customers, and 2.64 with neighbors. The respective world average scores were 3.21, 2.59, and 2.57.
- Toronto respondents’ level of frequency of using SNS to communicate was 3.08 out of 4 and level of frequency of using messengers to communicate was 3.09 out of 4. In comparison, the respective world average scores were 3.34 and 3.38.
- We then asked how often global citizens discussed about COVID-19. We provided a 4-point scale with higher scores indicating higher frequency. Toronto respondents scored 3.21. In comparison, the global average was 3.21.
Human Life after COVID-19
- On a scale of 1 to 4 with higher scores indicating more agreement that the “community is doomed to lose its function,” Toronto respondents scored 2.43. As for the statement “We don’t need community. Individual freedom is enough,” Toronto respondent scored 2.19. The respective global averages were 2.54 and 2.29.
- Toronto respondents’ average degrees of agreement to the following statements predicting what the future will be like after the pandemic, “The future cannot be predicted,” “The life will be more unstable,” and “We should realize the fundamental uncertainty of life,” were 7.16/10, 6.49/10, and 5.63/10. The respective global averages were 6.95, 6.28, and 5.26.