Indirect Impacts of COVID-19

Contact(s)

In January and February 2021, the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit surveyed individuals living in Nipissing and Parry Sound districts, aged 16 and older, to learn about the indirect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were asked about their experiences since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020). Survey questions were related to mental health and well-being, physical health, substance use, access to programs/services, child well-being, parental concerns, income, and access to basic needs.

Exploring the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the lifespan

Review the key findings reports from the survey

The Indirect Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Individuals Living in the Nipissing and Parry Sound Districts: A Summary Report (released November 2021)

  • Three quarters of respondents reported feelings of loneliness or isolation more often since the start of the pandemic.

  • Three quarters of respondents reported engaging in more recreational screen time/online gaming, while just over half reported difficulties sleeping more often and engaging in physical activity less often.

  • Thirty percent of respondents reported an increase in alcohol use, which is twice the rate of cannabis use increase and three times the rate of nicotine use increase since the start of the pandemic.

The Indirect Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Individuals aged 65 years and older in the Nipissing and Parry Sound Districts (released November 2021)

  • Over two-thirds of respondents aged 65 years and older reported experiencing much more or somewhat more feelings of loneliness or isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Respondents aged 65 years and older were significantly more likely to report separation from family compared to those aged 64 years and younger (67% compared to 57%).

  • Compared to respondents aged 64 years and younger, those aged 65 years and older were significantly more likely to report increased contact with family and friends through phone or video.

The Indirect Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Individuals Living in the Nipissing and Parry Sound Districts: A Focus on Substance Use (released November 2021)

  • Thirty percent of respondents reported an increase in alcohol use, which is twice the rate of cannabis use increase (14%) and three times the rate of nicotine use increase (11%) since the start of the pandemic. Stress was the most frequently selected reason for the increase in these behaviours.

  • Respondents who indicated an increase in alcohol, cannabis, and/or nicotine use since the start of the pandemic were significantly more likely to report feelings of loneliness or isolation, stress, and thoughts of suicide or self-harm compared to those who did not report an increase in these substances.

The Indirect Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Individuals Living in the Nipissing and Parry Sound Districts: A Focus on Families (released November 2021)

  • Rates of stress were significantly higher for parents/guardians compared to non-parents/guardians, especially for those with at least one child aged 0-4 years.

  • As a result of the pandemic, parents/guardians were most worried about their child(ren)’s social and emotional development (83%), followed by their child(ren)’s anxiety and stress (70%), and their child(ren)’s education (69%).

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