What do you #LookForwardTo? BU kicks off future-focused social campaign

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Let’s bring some positivity to our timelines! When this pandemic is over, I look forward to …

What do you look forward to? Copy, paste and share. Make sure to tag the people you look forward to getting together with!

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Campaign Graphics

Use these official campaign graphics (right-click to download):

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Use the hashtag #LookForwardTo to share your optimism with us. We look forward to seeing all the plans you have in store!

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What do you #LookForwardTo?

In a time of stress, it can help to have something to look forward to. So… what are you looking forward to when the pandemic is over?

That’s the question that Brandon University is asking with a new social media campaign that encourages you to think optimistically about the future.

“I look forward to reconnecting with friends from all over Manitoba who I haven’t seen in months,” said Candice Waddell, chair of the BU Status of Women Review Committee (SWRC), which is spearheading the new campaign. “I also look forward to a beach vacation, to shopping without a mask, and to seeing all my students face-to-face once more. We can’t do this right now, but I want to reach out and let these people know I’m thinking of them, and they are important to me.”

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is awful for everyone, but is disproportionally affecting women, she said, compounded by the fact that women traditionally shoulder a greater burden in providing emotional support, and in doing the work that underpins major holidays, like Christmas and New Year.

“Pandemic-related job losses are concentrated in sectors like food service, retail, and hospitality that are largely female, so much so that the economic impact is being called a ‘she-cession,’” she said. “Plus on the other hand, front-line essential workers, many in retail and health care, are also filled largely by female workers. This is a double whammy, and we need support. Everyone needs support. We need something to look forward to.”

Covid numbers continue to rise, and many people are facing economic hardship and health worries at a time of year when the cold weather and darkness already impact psychological health.

“This pandemic is serious and scary. Keeping ourselves, our families and our communities safe is hard work,” Waddell said. “For the time being, keeping our bubble small, wearing a mask, and practicing the fundamentals is our responsibility. But let’s remember why we’re doing all this hard work: to get back to being able to fully enjoy the relationships and activities we value.”

Recently, good news coming out about safe and effective vaccines provides hope, she said, and there is reason for optimism.

“Now is a challenging time. Focusing on the future can help us get through the tough patches today by remembering that better days lie ahead,” said Morganna Malyon, a member of SWRC who helped conceive the campaign. “I can’t do these things right now, but I look forward to safely hugging my grandmother, to international travel, to camping and hiking, and to hosting a potluck with all my loved ones.”

The idea is simple. Using a graphic carrying the message “Look Forward To,” people are asked to imagine something they can’t wait to do when the pandemic clears, and to tag people they want to share that with.

“We cannot ignore the very real problems that we’re going through right now, but many of us are limited in how we can help. This is a way to at least inject some optimism back into our timelines, and I look forward to that,” Malyon said. “We have all been through a lot, and just thinking positively about the future is already making me feel stronger and more motivated.”

The campaign launched today with BU President David Docherty one of the first to chime in.

“I look forward to a visit from my kids without quarantining,” he said in a post on his personal Facebook page, tagging them and his wife Kris. “We miss them, and we miss having any guests over. I look forward to entertaining and hosting, where we can lay out a spread and clink glasses once again. This pandemic continues to drive home the value and necessity of personal interactions with friends and family.”

Everyone is invited to contribute their own personal hopes and expectations. Official graphics can be downloaded above, or from the campaign page at BrandonU.ca/SWRC or shared from BU social media accounts.

 

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