DHHS: Dear Victoria
Over 400 Victorians have died from COVID-19. Survivors have been reported to experience a host of lifelong side effects, like neurological impairment and permanent damage to the heart, lungs and kidneys.
But Victorians still aren’t taking the threat seriously.
Curfew-breakers and anti-maskers have taken to social media in droves to post conspiracy theories and videos of themselves bypassing police checkpoints. Lockdown memes have evolved into cries for help as strict isolation triggers mental health crises across the state. Apathy is at an all-time high because of unending daily bad news.
Many have changed the channel.
With all this in mind, how do we remind a tired populace that the fight isn’t over?
In the age of COVID, Victorians are burned out and tired. They're choosing to engage with light-hearted entertainment and ignore the negative and anxiety-inducing news broadcasts, but this voluntary media shutdown could lead to a huge gap in communication between the people and the government.
The ‘Dear Victoria’ campaign will be featured in areas that are frequented by essential workers and pedestrians engaging in their daily exercise. The posters will be pasted along walking tracks and residential areas, and are also the appropriate size to be featured in metrolites or bus stops.
The important information about preventing the spread is offered in a clear, direct way that leaves little room for confusion while also stressing that these measures are necessary for protecting the reader and the people around them. The characters are cute and friendly and the scenarios they experience are funny and a little silly, offering a much-needed break from the doom and gloom found on every Victorian's screen.
Finally, formatting the 'Dear Victoria' campaign as a letter from the Department of Health and Human Services works to remove some of the uncertainty about their role in the lockdown. It recontextualises them as a friend who earnestly cares about the wellbeing of every Victorian and wants what is best for them, replacing the current perception of the DHHS as a shadowy government body that keeps people home against their will because they love causing misery.