Mayor John Tory has turned to TikTok to spread the word to younger Torontonians about the importance of following public health guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mayor posted a video of himself asking viewers to “help stop COVID-19” by following five public health guidelines, including washing your hands, avoiding close contact and crowded places, wearing a mask whenever possible, staying home if you are sick, and only hanging out with people in your household.
The video is set to the song, ‘Ride It’ by DJ Regard.
Speaking to CP24 on Friday morning, the mayor, who admitted to looking “a little awkward” in the video, said he hopes this helps encourage younger people to follow the rules.
“We have a really urgent priority on our hands reaching people who are a bit younger, who use different platforms in different ways,” he said.
“The case count increase that we have seen in younger people is really disturbing and is really at the heart of what's going on right now in terms of this second wave.”
Tory said some younger individuals have taken a more laissez-faire approach when it comes to the pandemic, an attitude that is problematic for multiple reasons.
“They say, some of them, ‘We are invincible. We are younger,’ and so on. First of all, the medical evidence has shown that people who get COVID at a young age... can end up with lung and heart conditions later into life, like the rest of their lives,” he said.
“Secondly, if you have a big spread going on among young people, it is only a matter of time before it then spreads back into older populations and places like long-term care.”
The mayor noted that he never anticipated having to navigate social media platforms like TikTok during his time in office.
“This is going to be part of a much broader campaign we are going to have in many different places... which I hope help not hurt,” he said. “I’ll get better.”