Education and Solidarity Network

THE COVIDEASTS: CULTURE AND HEALTH AGAINST COVID-19

Hawa Fatty
May 4, 2020

Convinced that video and humour are powerful means of raising awareness, the Meliponi association is working with cultural actors to carry the project “Les Covidéastes” (the covideasts): a series of humorous short films aimed at relaying prevention messages to the general public and countering misinformation.

Convinced that video and humour are powerful means of raising awareness, the Meliponi association is working with cultural actors to carry the project “Les Covidéastes” (the covideasts): a series of humorous short films aimed at relaying prevention messages to the general public and countering misinformation.

Meliponi is an association from Lyon (France) that works to promote health and education through the media. The Covideasts bring together health professionals and cultural figures in Lyon to unite in the fight against the new Covid-19 pandemic.

Culture and public health

The Covideasts have different objectives:

  •  Inform in a fun way about Coronavirus in an entertaining way by relaying the official health prevention messages.
  •  Fight misinformation during the lockdown period and support the deconfinement period
  •  Support cultural actors, a sector that has been hard hit by the health and economic crisis, especially the intermittent entertainment workers.

[VIDEO::https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfN7ojfrBD0::normal]

In this unprecedented pandemic context involving a virus that was still unknown a few months ago, and with very little hindsight on its evolution, moderate to severe forms that can lead to death and to date, with no cure, communication to the general public is essential to enable them with a better understanding of this disease:

·       act on prevention: to limit the spreading of the virus.
→ raise awareness, using a clear and simple message, about scientifically validated gestures and behaviors to protect yourself and others.

·      counter “fake news”: to alert people against false information and misconceptions as well as their diffusion.
→  sort the flow of information, deconstruct certain preconceived ideas and report simple, reliable and verified information.

·       avoid panic and provide reassurance :
– to prevent risky behaviour, such as:

  • self-medication (with chloroquine, cocaine, bleach…),
  • abrupt end of chronical treatment without medical advice,
  • the adoption of improper behaviours,
  • non-compliance to adapted practices.

–  to remind people of the possibility of meeting their basic needs (e.g. important medical appointments) while respecting protective behaviors. → to raise awareness on the evolution of the pandemic and the value of scientifically verified protective measures.

[VIDEO::https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AjBjrR9fKc::normal]

How do The Covideasts meet during lockdown?

  1. Health professionals suggest themes in line with the latest scientific data and news. They are responsible for the health messages transmitted to the public.
  2. Scriptwriters then submit a funny and punchy scenario, which must last one minute and take the current confinement constraints into account for the production.  Videoconferences are regularly conducted to exchange points of view and assign film crews. 
  3. According to the director, the rules are open for each video (fiction, stop motion, clip …) with the common instructions to be on a humorous and benevolent tone and with the aim of promoting health prevention messages published by reliable and official sources.

The covideasts pay a special attention to the series’ accessibility for all, that’s why the episodes are :

  • accessible via different communication channels: internet, social media, newsletters…,
  • designed for all generations,
  • with French subtitles.

The series will be aired during the period of lockdown and in support of deconfinement.

[VIDEO::https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmndWyxNkKk::normal]

The goal is to be able to produce and finance 19 1-minute short films.To carry out this timely public health project, a crowdfunding campaign is currently under way. This budget only covers the compensation for the video crews’ work (fees for the intermittent entertainment workers) involved in this comedy series against the Covid-19 pandemic. The health professionals and members of the Meliponi association are all volunteers.

All videos are available on the Covideasts Youtube channel.

[VIDEO::https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzpbJQ_63Gs::normal]

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