How COVID-19 shaped our lives in 2021, in 5 charts

After a approximate year during the first wave of the epidemic, 2021 showed signs of life returning to normal with vaccines available, high vaccination rates and the reopening of borders. However, the year also faced a major supply disruption due to an imbalance between supply and demand, followed by a major setback due to a new variable, Omicron at the end of the year.

CTVNews.ca collected data from the start of the pandemic in 2020 to reflect the changes wrought by COVID-19 that shaped our lives in 2021. We relied on data available on Statistics Canada to create five charts to capture a bigger picture of the year you were.

The analysis looks at how the pandemic is affecting travel, employment, and inflation, as well as tracking the evolution of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and vaccinations from the start of the first wave to date.

1. Travel recovery but at a moderate pace

After a significant drop in travel in March 2020 due to the lockdown, the country recorded the largest drop in domestic travel in February 2021. This year also saw layoffs in the airline industry with less travel due to reduced air traffic. However, more people are choosing domestic travel over foreign travel. Travel within Canada from abroad.

The biggest drop in international travel was during the first wave in 2020, and although more visitors resumed their outbound trips this year, traffic was well below pre-pandemic levels. They were not at pre-pandemic levels.

According to Statistics Canada, even with increased travel, it has not contributed much to the transmission of COVID-19. At least 68 percent of COVID-19 cases have come from community settings since the start of the pandemic and less than one percent have come from travel.

2. Inflation has risen but stalled due to supply chain disruption and the new variable

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose to an 18-year high of 4.7 percent in November of this year, according to Statistics Canada. Last year, the CPI was at 1 percent. To put things into perspective, the Bank of Canada aims to keep inflation at the mid-point of 2 per cent of the inflation-control target range of 1 to 3 per cent. The index is the most relevant measure of the cost of living for most Canadians because it consists of goods and services that Canadians typically purchase, such as food, housing, transportation, furniture, clothing, entertainment, and other items.

2021 saw a shift in consumption patterns compared to last year.

According to the Bank of Canada, after the first wave of the epidemic, spending on goods recovered faster than spending on services. Although service consumption recovered around the same time, it remained 4 percent below its pre-pandemic level through the beginning of 2021. This unusual shift in consumption pattern has resulted in unusual pressures on global shipping networks such as transportation costs and Demand for shipping containers.

These bottlenecks were subsequently amplified as many companies responded to shortages by ordering their goods not only earlier, but also in larger quantities. With demand increasing more than expected under normal business conditions, supply pressures intensified during 2021.

The chart below shows the change in inflation in key sectors such as food, housing gas, and transportation. The Bank of Canada is closely watching inflation. At a recent press conference, Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Tony Gravel said the unique recovery hampered the supply chain in 2021. In 2021, supply constraints drove prices up. Food inflation was 4.4 percent in 2021, a big jump from 1.9 percent last year. However, higher energy prices contributed to a third of the high inflation in November of this year. The Bank of Canada noted that rebounding demand for services that are difficult to access remotely and supply constraints also contributed to pushing prices higher.

3. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations

With the discovery of the first case of Omicron in Canada on November 28, 2021, significant efforts have been made to encourage booster vaccines along with the extension of pandemic restrictions in some provinces. As of December 29, 2021, Canada has recorded over 2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 30,353 recorded deaths.

Since the vaccination campaign began in December 2020, 79.4% of people who contracted COVID-19 at the time of their first attack had not been vaccinated and 9.9% had been fully vaccinated as of December 4, 2021.

The chart below highlights cases during waves of daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the country during 2021, along with patients admitted to the intensive care unit and those on mechanical ventilation. Canada recorded the highest number of hospital admissions during the beginning of 2021 with nearly 4,000 patients. This was the highest number since the beginning of the epidemic.

4. The unemployment rate has reached pre-pandemic levels

As businesses recover and more jobs are added, the unemployment rate started to decline from March in 2021. In the third quarter of 2021, the number of job vacancies in Canada reached an all-time high of 912,600.

According to the latest work report from Statistics Canada, employment rose to 186,000, which is higher than the pre-COVID level in February 2020.

Heading toward the end of the year, the unemployment rate fell 0.7 percentage points from the previous month to 6 percent in November — the sixth consecutive monthly decline and the largest drop since March 2021.

The unemployment rate this year is at its lowest level since February 2020 (shown in the chart below)

5. Coverage of vaccinations for five years and above and the expansion of vaccinations

In November 2021, Canada authorized its first COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. The approved vaccine has a lower dose than the approved dose for 12 years and older. However, it is still not clear how long the protection will last. The COVID-19 vaccination program began on December 14 last year with five COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada. The graph below shows the shift in vaccination dose. According to Statistics Canada, 76.79 percent of the population across the country has been fully vaccinated.

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