Every five to 15 minutes, a heart monitor beeped—then came the heart fluctuation, said Amanda Shelowitz, a 19-year-old UF health science sophomore. She shadowed EMTs throughout 2019, and the experience left her shaken.
“I don’t want to see anyone else on a ventilator,” she said.
So, she signed a contract.
The contract, “Promise To Humanity,” was founded by two brothers. Launched in early May, the campaign encourages individuals to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s social distancing guidelines.
“Just saying ‘I promise to social distance and wear a mask’ is not as meaningful as signing a contract which holds you accountable,” Shelowitz said.
The creators of the contract, Adam Buchwald, 18, a UF business administration information systems sophomore, and his brother Josh, 17, said they began the movement to help keep their family safe. Their 14-year-old sister, Lauren, has type 1 diabetes, and their grandparents are elderly and vulnerable to COVID-19.
This contract is not going to cure COVID-19, Josh said. Instead, it’s about reinforcing safe habits: wearing a mask, staying home and practicing social distance.
More than 5,000 contracts have been downloaded as of Wednesday, according to the website’s tracker. Participants range from UF students to people from different nations, according to the Buchwald brothers.
Coby Farhi, a 19-year-old UF biology sophomore, said he was contacted by Adam in May about the contract.
Farhi said he immediately wanted to get involved with Promise To Humanity after seeing other UF students post images from large social gatherings on Snapchat. They didn’t appear to respect CDC guidelines, he said.
“It’s not worth it to destroy people’s lives to just be social,” Farhi said. “There’s plenty of ways to see your friends online through Zoom calls and online games.”
To participate in Promise to Humanity, the website recommends people download and sign the contract, then post a photo of it and themselves to social media.
The Buchwald brothers said they haven’t made any profit off of the initiative but hope to build a visible and impactful social media movement.
They are currently working on the movement’s second phase, which consists of contacting nursing homes and having residents sign the contract, Adam said. They want to show elderly people that young adults and teens do care, he said.
“I want to make sure they know that we want to keep them safe,” he said.