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Survey finds pandemic taking mental, economic toll on British Columbians 

The results from a province-wide survey show that nearly half of the respondents have suffered from worsening mental health because of the pandemic. 

On Monday, the B.C. government released an early snapshot of the ‘Your story, our future’ survey, as well as the latest data on COVID-19 in British Columbia.

On top of the 47 per cent surveyed who say the pandemic has impacted their mental state, many say they’ve faced additional economic burden and the stress that comes with that.

Notably, young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 have experienced greater economic and mental health struggles than the general population.

In a joint statement, provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, and health minister Adrian Dix asked British Columbians to reach out to those who may be more vulnerable.

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“The epidemiological data also shows some concerning upward trends: The infection rate for new cases is increasing above one to one, and we are also seeing an uptick in our case curve,” the statement read.

“This tells us that we are on edge of increasing our social interactions too much and are at risk of a rebound. We need to bend our curve back down to where it belongs.”

They noted that there are a few things we can all do to push that curve back down. 

That includes keeping your groups small and only spending time with those you know. 

“The more people you see, the more likely someone will have COVID-19 and will spread it to others,” they said.

“If you are going out, be considerate of people who are working at the restaurants and pubs that you are visiting. Remember servers are at higher risk because of the many people they see, so be kind and show gratitude as they follow the WorkSafeBC requirements for safe operations. Ensure your groups are no larger than six people, avoid table-hopping and stay home if you are feeling unwell.”

As well, they reminded you that if you’re hosting a small gathering, remember ‘fewer faces and bigger spaces.’ 

“Keep your gatherings small, know everyone who is coming, stay outside as much as possible and have a designated ‘contact keeper’ so you are able to quickly alert everyone afterward, if necessary.”

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