The Orange County Health Department and the Sheriff’s Office produced a video in English and seven other languages commonly spoken in Orange County. The video is meant to simultaneously educate and reassure the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a recent weekly meeting with the immigrant and refugee health team, participants heard several accounts of community members enduring frightening encounters, such as a person being sprayed with Lysol by a stranger at the grocery store. The group proposed the video project to comfort community members who were fearful they might be victims of violence or xenophobia.
Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood opens and closes the video by encouraging people to call 911 if they have a concern about safety – their own or someone else’s. The body of the video provides instruction about social distancing, encourages people to stay home whenever possible, and reminds viewers not to discriminate against members of other racial groups. This content is delivered by a person fluent in the target language.
Kristin Prelipp, Communications Manager and Public information Officer for the Health Department said, “Coping with the COVID-19 pandemic is obviously a new experience for everyone, and it raises anxiety. Some people express that anxiety by blaming the people they feel are responsible. Others become so anxious they hesitate to go out at all. We wanted to make a short message to educate and reassure people no matter what experience they were having.”
The health department worked with the Refugee Community Partnership (RCP) and the CHICLE Language Institute to have the script translated and read into Arabic, Burmese, Karen, Kinyarwanda, Mandarin, Spanish, and Swahili. The English version of the video includes, in addition to Sheriff Blackwood, appearances by several employees of the Sheriff’s Office, and Prelipp of the Health Department.
The video series is available on the Health Department’s YouTube channel (OCHDNC) and on the Sheriff’s channel (OCSONC). Efforts are also underway to air the films on local government access television stations.
Links to Videos:
For the latest information and guidance relating to Orange County’s COVID-19 response: