#2Weeks digital campaign created to change thinking about self-isolation

A group of friends from across Toronto’s ad community are helping tackle COVID-19 by essentially rebranding the all important self-isolation that so much of the country is undergoing.

The Instagram-based “#2Weeks” acknowledges that staying home is not a good thing, but people should think about using the time to try new things, such as learning to cook, baking more, reading with their kids and exercising.

The campaign was inspired by a March 22 article in The New York Times, explains Jane Tucker, the former John St. founding partner and one of the people behind #2Weeks.

The article, by Donald G. McNeil Jr., the Times’ science and health reporter specializing in plagues and pestilences, explained how two weeks of complete distancing could almost wipe out the virus.

“The virus would die out on every contaminated surface and, because almost everyone shows symptoms within two weeks, it would be evident who was infected. If we had enough tests for every American, even the completely asymptomatic cases could be found and isolated,” wrote McNeil. “The crisis would be over.”

“We were struck by the specificity of it: two weeks,” says Tucker, who plans to use her time at home to learn how to make a good curry. “And we thought if we could get that message out in a way that made two weeks feel less like a prison sentence, people might be more inclined to buy in. All of our social feeds have been full of people around the world trying to make the best of this situation, and we were really inspired by that.”

A short video was produced from some of the many clips of people making the best of self-isolation, accompanied by the Sister Sledge song “We are family.” Tucker says they know now that crisis will stretch beyond the two weeks, but if everyone could do more to stay at home for 14 straight days, it would go a long way towards slowing down the virus and allow hospitals and health care workers to be better prepared.

They want the Instagram page to inspire people to share how they keep themselves occupied, she says. “We’d love it if people started posting what they’re doing with the hashtag #2weeks, and people could turn to it for a laugh or inspiration or maybe just to remind themselves that we’re all struggling through the same thing.”

David Brown