Professor Sutton said the health department is working with the behavioural insights team and their communications colleagues to find ways to “motivate everybody to do the right thing”.
“The most vulnerable will die from this virus. That is why we are working so hard.”
Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said young adults were contracting the virus while “getting together with their mates” and then spreading it within their families.
Ms Mikakos said young people made up 37 percent of all new diagnoses.
“I won’t be pointing the finger at any part of our community,” she said, calling on people in their 20s and 30s to remember “we are all in this together”.
“You might only get mild symptoms because you’re young and relatively healthy but if you give it to an elderly family member or somebody else in the community who has chronic health conditions, then you are putting their life at risk.”
The Grattan Institute estimated earlier this month that younger Australians would likely bear the brunt of the pandemic’s economic cost, especially those who work in the creative or service industries.
Will Anton, 24, a circus performer, has seen his work all but dry up during the pandemic. Despite this, he said he was still doing the right thing and following health guidelines.
“In our social circle, we’re all performing artists so all very health-conscious, and pretty up on it so most people are pretty up on it. I wear a mask and gloves on public transport,” he said.
His friend, Riki Morgan, 22, has also remained particularly cautious in adhering to social distancing rules.
Studying to be a circus performer, her learning is all contact and, having been off for 12 weeks, she doesn’t know when they’ll be able to return.
“Everyone I know, my roommates and stuff, are all making sure we stay with procedures so we can go back to school, she said.
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David Estcourt is a court and general news reporter at The Age.