COVID-19 loves parties, Dr. Deena Hinshaw has said before.

And now, there’s an ad for that.

The Alberta government posted two videos, Covid Loves Parties and Covid Loves the Holidays, on a new website called covidloves.ca.

Covid Loves Parties shows a man wearing a COVID-19 molecule mask going into a house party, high-fiving people and dancing with a woman, nearly kissing her.

In Covid Loves Christmas, a family is gathered around a living room when someone also wearing a coronavirus mask, or the disease, comes in with dessert, dips into the eggnog, and gives a gift to a young family member.

“Nobody loves a holiday gathering more than COVID,” the ad reads at the end, as the family eats dinner together.

MEET COVID, covidloves.ca reads. “I love life! Going to all the places, doing all the things and spreading the fun to everyone. Bring me to your next get-together, I’d love to meet your friends and family.

“They don’t call me the ultimate plus one for nothing. I’m on every guest list. Nobody puts me in a corner.”

In her daily COVID-19 briefing, the chief medical officer of health explained the ad used humour to target the 20-40 age group. The goal was to get their attention and influence their behaviour.

“I was part of the team that looked at various options that were really aimed at effectively reaching out at that particular age group,” she said. 

“The campaign uses humour because the situation is serious.”

When Premier Jason Kenney introduced new COVID-19 restrictions including banning indoor and outdoor gatherings for at least four weeks Tuesday, he said Christmas parties would have to be kept to people who live together or the two close contacts allowed.

“Here is the hard truth: Clearly the biggest single source of viral transmission is at-home gatherings,” Kenney said. “It’s when we let our guard down, it’s when we relax with people we’re close to and it’s when transmission most easily happens. And so, if we relax the public health measures to permit large family gatherings in just three weeks’ time, we will without a shadow of a doubt, see a large increase in hospitalizations and fatalities. We simply cannot let this Christmas turn into a tragedy for many families.”

The new government website lists the usual guidelines to prevent spread: no social gatherings, avoiding travel, staying home when sick, getting tested, wearing a mask, sanitizing and maintaining a physical distance.

Alberta has 20,163 active COVID-19 cases and 682 patients in hospital.

Source: CTV, December 11, 2020.

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