CEO blog: A millennial perspective during times of COVID-19

Sarah Evans Digital Marketing Officer Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island A Millennial's perspective on COVID-19

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Children’s Health Foundation is committed to supporting Island families. Veronica recently connected with our Digital Marketing Officer, Sarah Evans, who has shared her experience living as a 20 to 30-year-old at this time. She shares her perspective on how this demographic is handling lifestyle changes resulting from COVID-19.

As part of the 20-30-year-old demographic, how do you feel about being among those with the highest infection rate?

It concerns me that people in their 20s and 30s are taking more risks and not adhering to necessary lifestyle changes and protocols that have been put in place. I understand, though, as this is a time in our lives when we are more social and spontaneous. This demographic may not be as worried about getting the virus compared to other age groups. I think that some young people don’t think about the fact that they can spread it to people close to them and those they love. Personally, I am concerned about becoming sick and passing it on to my family or someone close to me. I believe that everyone is trying their best to cope with these new challenges.

How do you talk to older generations about being part of the group with the highest infection rate?

I am worried about bringing it home to them. We often touch base and talk about strategies to stay safe and healthy. We discuss my plans and who I have in my bubble and vice versa with their social plans.  I know that they are hesitant to go to restaurants or bars where most of the servers are in their 20s and may run a higher risk of being exposed because they take more risks.

What would have an impact on your demographic that might cause them to pause and reflect on making other choices?

I would ask them how it would feel if someone close to them fell ill in hospital. When the virus first broke out in March, I remember seeing chaotic media footage from Italian hospitals – where hundreds of people were hooked up to oxygen and their family members could not visit due to hospital capacity. I realize this is not Italy, but that scene, for me, was scary to see.

Do you think there are other ways for this group to gather, socialize, and date amidst COVID-19?

Since Phase Two and Phase Three rolled out over these last few months, I have had the chance to gather in small groups with friends.  It is not the same as going to concerts or going out dancing, but we have to hold on to hope that this will not be forever.  It’s a short-term sacrifice to ensure our community and those with compromised health are not impacted with overwhelming illness.  Dating is more difficult than pre-COVID, but this will not be forever, or we will all find a new way.

How much of this activity is due to peer pressure?

As a Millennial, I think peer pressure has a large influence on a person’s decision to go out and socialize with friends and groups.

I have friends who will only agree to see me in an outside setting and others who are in “my bubble” that I see regularly. I know those people in my bubble are also doing their part to keep their connections small. I’m lucky that my friends and I have a positive influence on each other.

Do you think that older generations can positively influence your demographic, including parents, grandparents, politicians, actors, or musicians?

In my circles, my friends do consider their parents and grandparents when making their decisions to go out and socialize. Parents and grandparents may have the most significant influence on this age group in how they discuss their social life. I bring up these types of conversations with my parents, so they know who I am socializing with. We discuss the scenario and who will be there.

I think actors may have an influence on this group on a small scale. If an actor would take us through ‘a day in a life of…’, I think that may be beneficial. The positive impact of Dr. Bonnie Henry has made on all British Columbians is extraordinary. She has shown caring and compassionate leadership.

Do you think implementing a fine might deter people in their 20s and 30s from breaking COVID-19 protocols?

Yes, I believe, and my hope is these recent fines will deter any age demographic from gathering in large groups and partying. For 20-30-year-olds I hope it will make them think twice about how they conduct themselves.

For COVID-19 helpful tips and resources, please visit our COVID-19 resources for Island families page.