A campaign to engage young people about the importance of social distancing and hygiene has gone viral across Instagram in the last 24 hours.
The #ICanStopThis has been shared by high-profile young influencers including YouTube star Georgia Productions, models Ashton Wood and Harvey Petito, actress Ashleigh Ross, and TikTok creator Nat Alise, with a combined reach of 2.4 million people.
Youth talent and events agency Amplify Live Director Alex Reid said the success of the campaign shows that young people are taking this seriously, and are engaging with public health measures to help stop the spread of the virus.
“Through launching #ICanStopThis, we wanted to empower and involve young people in the conversation about the importance of staying inside during these unprecedented times of crisis.” Reid said.
“There’s a perception amongst some young people that the virus is not as relevant for them, so we partnered with young influencers and content creators to reach millions of Australians when and where they are engaged.”
The campaign encourages people to badly paint their nails, share it across their Instagram stories, and make one pledge for every finger painted about what they’re doing to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Pledges included promising to stay inside, wash hands frequently, and look out for others during these times of social distancing were among some of those made.
The campaign comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against complacency, after media reports in the UK showed young people ignoring advice to practise social distancing.
“Although older people are hardest hit, younger people are not spared,” WHO Director- General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference. “I have a message for young people: you are not invincible, this virus could put you in hospital for weeks or even kill you.”
People participating in #ICanStopThis are encouraged to nominate and tag five people to make similar pledges. Through using the power of virality and sharing, the campaign not only communicates the critical importance of staying inside, but creates a much-needed sense of community and social good, something necessary in these trying times of isolation.