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Seth Rogen adds voice to B.C. coronavirus youth push, but are celebrities effective?

Click to play video 'Should we be using social media to fight the surge of COVID-19 in younger people?' Should we be using social media to fight the surge of COVID-19 in younger people?
Should we be using social media to fight the surge of COVID-19 in younger people? – Aug 15, 2020

B.C. born comedian Seth Rogen is the latest celebrity to answer a plea from Premier John Horgan to try and get young people on board with coronavirus precautions.

Rogen took to Twitter Saturday to implore people to keep their social circles small, stay home and — well, partake in some of the province’s famous B.C. bud.

Read more: Here’s what B.C. youth have to say about the province’s coronavirus spike

Click to play video 'Horgan calls on B.C. celebs to help get COVID-19 message to young people' Horgan calls on B.C. celebs to help get COVID-19 message to young people
Horgan calls on B.C. celebs to help get COVID-19 message to young people – Aug 12, 2020

“People of British Columbia, do not go out to parties and BBQs and other large gatherings! The COVID is still out there,” tweeted Rogen.

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“It’s more fun to hang out alone and smoke weed and watch movies and TV shows anyway! Do that instead!”

 

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Rogen’s response came after Horgan issued a call to the comedian and fellow B.C.-born actor Ryan Reynolds to try and get through to younger people.

That followed modelling showing a new surge in B.C. COVID-19 cases, driven primarily by young adults attending parties.

Click to play video 'Ryan Reynolds answers B.C. premier’s call for help in getting out the COVID safety message' Ryan Reynolds answers B.C. premier’s call for help in getting out the COVID safety message
Ryan Reynolds answers B.C. premier’s call for help in getting out the COVID safety message – Aug 14, 2020

Reynolds responded Friday with a humorous fake voicemail to the premier in which he said, “I hope young people in B.C. don’t kill my mom.”

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“Or David Suzuki. Or each other. Let’s not kill anyone. That’s reasonable,” Reynolds said.

Click to play video 'Crowd control concerns as B.C. COVID-19 cases rise' Crowd control concerns as B.C. COVID-19 cases rise
Crowd control concerns as B.C. COVID-19 cases rise – Aug 15, 2020

B.C. health officials say they’re trying to recruit social media influencers to try and get the message out to a younger demographic.

It comes as some critics argue the province has failed in its messaging, which has focused on the effects of the virus on the elderly or people with health conditions.

Read more: Why one expert says B.C. fumbled its coronavirus message to young people

Social media expert Jesse Miller with Mediated Reality told Global News Saturday the province may have missed the mark with the celebrities, who he said may be less influential among younger generations.

Click to play video 'Horgan calls on B.C. celebs to help get COVID-19 message to young people' Horgan calls on B.C. celebs to help get COVID-19 message to young people
Horgan calls on B.C. celebs to help get COVID-19 message to young people – Aug 12, 2020

“I’m more inclined to say give (youth) the reins, let them take over provincial accounts, let them take over city accounts, find those individuals who have unique voices and see if they can find a way to get the people who pay attention to them to follow and maybe readjust some of the messaging,” said Miller.

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“We can direct advertising campaigns multiple directions using targeted geographic and age specific campaigns.”

Earlier this week, SFU health expert Scot Lear suggested the province should recruit young people to lead the messaging campaign to their peers, and focus on individual stories of how the coronavirus can affect young people’s jobs or have lasting health impacts, even if not fatal.