COVID Scouts — Edmonton’s Fall Expedition

COVID Scouts, Novel Coronavirus, Edmonton COVID Response

Let’s clean up COVID-19, Edmonton!

Community-led education can help protect Edmonton residents from COVID-19.

COVID SCOUTS (Safer Community Outcomes & Utilization Through Support) — Edmonton’s Fall Expedition

It is a well-known fact that arguing with someone to change health behaviours doesn’t work well. In many cases, these confrontations can make people become more defensive or adversarial. Most people believe that they have personal control over their health. Therefore, being told to adopt even simple health-promoting behaviours without participation in the process can feel threatening and produce strong emotions. This is a common & normal process of health change.

In the context of COVID-19, media reports and social media influencers have recently encouraged strict enforcement and publicly shaming “COVIDIOTS”. These practices were essential and a key part of ensuring public awareness of emergency measures. More recently, however, enforcement measures have become one of the only tools used to persuade people to make simple health changes. These strategies persist despite extensive evidence that health professionals motivate others to change best when they “roll with resistance”, addressing personal values as part of process of health change.

Together, Edmonton can clean up COVID-19 once and for all. We need to build community leaders who can safely invite people to take additional precautions to prevent disease in high-risk communities. We need social proof to help change minds and save lives.

The Project

COVID SCOUTS are a small but mighty group of volunteer leaders who want to promote health behaviours as quickly as COVID-19 spreads in our community. A key focus of the project is to empower Edmonton residents to prevent COVID-19 together, through inspiring and motivational health marketing tactics.

What is the problem?

In the context of COVID-19, critical media reports and social media influencers have encouraged enforcement and publicly shaming “COVIDIOTS”.  These practices were essential as part of the early pandemic response, but they persist despite extensive evidence they may increase resistance to health change, increase public antipathy and increase health disparities.

What is the ‘big’ idea?

COVID SCOUTS are a cadre of volunteers and social media influencers who seek to shift COVID prevention discussions towards more fun and engaging conversations.  We will focus on supporting Edmonton neighbourhoods at increased risk of disease spread with awareness and education.

Why us?

To date, there does not appear to be any systematic effort to work with communities to prevent COVID-19 transmission.  Enforcement approaches may also not reach the community most at need of education and support.  This risks increasing personal responsibility for a disease that is best controlled by a coordinated grassroots response in affected communities.

Current Projects

Volunteer Sign-up – Edmonton, AB

Volunteer recruitment now closed. Please e-mail us at to ask about the status of our project or to join in our work.

Developing a Virtual Initiative – Phase I

Our core group is currently developing a virtual initiative to prevent COVID within the Edmonton area.

Published by Adam Henley

Adam is a Registered Nurse with experience in chronic disease management, symptom measurement, hematology/oncology, primary care behavioural health and geriatrics. He combines counselling, nutrition & exercise with traditional home nursing care. Adam cares to live health together with clients in a manner consistent with Parse’s Theory of Human Becoming. At the heart of his care, Adam offers evidence-based strategies to transform health together.

What do you think?

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