All the stops were pulled out Friday in the fight against COVID-19, as the Ontario government unleashed its #StayHomeON social media campaign with an image that, once in your mind, cannot be washed away by any amount of sanitizer: that of Premier Doug Ford, standing in your bedroom in a hazmat suit and looking on as you and your partner, naked, get it on.
The picture was actually painted by comedian Rick Mercer, whose two-minute “rant” is the first in a series of videos that will feature notable athletes, artists, musicians and others encouraging Ontarians to stay home.
Much of Mercer’s message was directed specifically at 18- to 29-year-olds, who he notes are “in the lead when it comes to getting COVID and then passing it on to others.
“I know if you’re a young person and you hear that you have to stay in, you’re thinking one thing. You’re thinking, ‘Hang on, is the government telling me I can’t hook up?’ Well, the answer to that is yes, that is correct.
“Doug Ford is personally imploring you to not hook up. And if you are tempted to do so, just imagine Doug in the room with you, just six feet away in a hazmat suit, and he’s watching you. And imagine the disappointment on his face.
“Don’t do it.”
Mercer also responds to those who say that the stay-at-home mandate is confusing.
“It’s actually not,” he says. “It just means: stay home. And I know people say, ‘Yes, but there are loopholes. There are exceptions.’ And that’s true. But just because technically, you’re allowed to do something, it doesn’t mean you have to do it. Just because you can buy pool noodles on sale at Walmart doesn’t mean you have to. And nothing is stopping anyone from purposely slamming the car door on our hands, but we all avoid doing that because it’s bad for us.”
The #StayHomeON campaign is organized through the ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.
According to a tweet from Minister Lisa MacLeod, other influencers taking part include the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Raptors, as well a Toronto Mayor John Tory, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens and Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati.