Living with COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a massive impact on young people. Lockdowns have been traumatic for many and have up-ended lives, employment, and education. Now more than ever, young people are relying on getting health information online. With so much misinformation out there, it’s important to have trustworthy information in a format that engages young people.

With this in mind, Prof Rachel Fensham spoke to our Director Prof Andrew Turpin and Prof Rachel Webster to discuss ways the University of Melbourne might meet this challenge. They brought together a team of academics from across the university, including Dr Victoria Millar (Melbourne Graduate School of Education) and Dr Justin Filippou (School of Computing and Information Systems) as well as a number of Research Data Specialists from MDAP: Dr Aleks Michalewicz, Bobbie Shaban, Dr Kristal Spreadborough, Marc Nguyen (MDAP Intern) with Robert Turnbull in the role of project coordinator. We partnered with VicSRC (Victorian Student Representative Council) and a production company, Either Either, to produce the ‘Living with COVID’ social media campaign. The campaign features six short videos focussing on a high school student named Eden who has to ‘deal with’ a character named COVID.

Each episode is based around a particular theme and points to a companion piece on the campaign’s website with a brief article on the topic, certified by an expert in the field. The themes were:

  1. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
  2. How does COVID-19 spread?
  3. How can I protect myself?
  4. How can I take care of myself? (Caring for your mental wellbeing amidst lockdown)
  5. Will socialising ever be the same?
  6. What does the future hold?

The episodes were promoted on a variety of different social media platforms, including the University of Melbourne’s official channels. So far, the videos have almost 200,000 views. We hope that our audience are left with more reliable information to help them live with COVID.