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DOH probes virus impacts on youngsters

HONOLULU – The Hawai‘i Department of Health developed a new campaign to highlight the economic and educational toll that COVID-19 has taken on Hawai‘i’s students and young adults. The “Let’s Get Back to Real Life” campaign features personal stories from Hawai‘i’s young people that inspire residents to continue following safe practices, as the state continues its road to economic recovery and residents await their turn to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Let’s Get Back to Real Life” was developed to resonate with young people who have had to sacrifice and miss opportunities due to COVID-19.

“We recognize that the ongoing pandemic has been hard on Hawai‘i residents, especially the younger generation who feel there is so much ahead of them and want so much out of life. They feel the pandemic is holding them back,” said Dr. Libby Char, director of the Hawai‘i Department of Health. “These new public service announcements were created with them in mind.”

An online survey of 533 Hawai‘i adults was commissioned by the Department of Health and conducted by Anthology Research from November 9 to 16, 2020. Results revealed that young adults are more likely to be influenced by the economic impact that the pandemic has had on their lives, while older adults are more likely to be influenced by the health impact to themselves and their families. Forty-six percent of those under the age of 35 view the impact of COVID-19 more in terms of its economic and financial impact, while just four percent of seniors thinks of the virus in these terms.

In addition, those who view the effects of the pandemic in terms of its financial impact are statistically less likely to be adhering to the guidelines, like wearing masks and social distancing, and they are also less likely to get vaccinated.

“The research helped us find the right balance in developing motivating messages that capture the aspirations and dreams of young adults,” said director Char. “We need them and everyone to continue to wear masks, physically distance, and avoid large gatherings as these are still our best weapons until a significant percentage of Hawai‘i’s population receives the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Public service announcements will air this week through March 7 on broadcast television, cable, radio, digital, social, streaming platforms and in print. Watch them at: https://hawaiicovid19.com/real-life.
Source: The Garden Island

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