Toronto TikTok user goes viral with videos making fun of the Ontario government
To say that everyone in Ontario is desperately in need of a good belly laugh right now is a massive understatement, and that's precisely why Toronto TikTok user Mikael Melo is doing everything he can to provide some comic relief from the constant stress that is this pandemic.
Melo told blogTO he's always been one to crack a joke and make people smile during difficult times, and when he noticed the frustration on social media coming from so many Ontario residents following the government's stay-at-home order announcement, he saw an opportunity to do just that.
"I remember watching the news that day as the Ontario government was announcing a state of emergency and I just thought to myself, 'I don't really see how this changes anything from before' since the rules were pretty much the same as the previous lockdown," he said.
"As someone who does social media marketing, it honestly just sounded like a rebrand. Like here's the same concept as before, just repackaged with a fancier title," he continued.
"So that's where the idea for the TikTok sketch came from, to act like the government's hotline and explain to citizens that the lockdown has now been rebranded as a stay-at-home order."
This Toronto TikTok user went viral for making fun of the Ontario government’s handling of the pandemic - 📹 mikaelmmelo https://t.co/1irSRAN9hv #Toronto #Ontario #ONpoli #OntarioLockdown #LockdownOntario #Lockdown #StateOfEmergency pic.twitter.com/vkXGKSXlaN— blogTO (@blogTO) January 19, 2021
The clever video pokes fun at the fact that everyone is being told to stay home when a large portion of the population still has to go to work, as well as the contradiction of allowing curbside pick-up but not recommending that anyone go on non-essential outings.
It also jokes that the province is intentionally using vague language so people can "choose their own pandemic experience."
"I posted it thinking just a few friends would see it, have a laugh and then call it a day," Melo said. "Honestly, after I posted it, I went to eat dinner and didn't think much of it. When I checked my phone after dinner it had just kind of blown up."
And blow up it most certainly did. The TikTok has now been viewed more than a million times, and it has over 127,000 likes and 21,000 comments as of Tuesday afternoon.
And while Melo said he had hoped the video would result in a few laughs, he had absolutely no idea it would go viral.
"Like most people, I've been on TikTok since March and I've casually posted here and there, so I didn't really think much of it," he explained.
"But I realized it started taking off when I had friends tell me that their mom's friends had shared it, their managers had posted it, or their hometown's floral shop had posted it, and things like that."
Shortly after posting the video, Melo said he received countless comments and direct messages from people who said the TikTok made their day and asked him to make more — so he did.
People in Ontario can’t seem to get enough of this TikTok user’s videos making fun of the provincial government - 📹 mikaelmmelo https://t.co/b2cjnsq9mR #Toronto #Ontario #ONpoli #StayHome #StayAtHomeOrder #Pandemic #EmergencyAlert pic.twitter.com/teo0NyFj0P— blogTO (@blogTO) January 19, 2021
That video quickly went viral too, garnering more than 80,000 views since it was posted roughly three days ago.
And while the videos are mostly meant to evoke laughter from viewers, Melo said there is definitely some truth to them.
"I think the provincial government is trying to act like our 'cool uncle,' so to speak, by not enforcing too many rules but at the same time making it very vague as to what people should and shouldn't do," he said.
"I know it's a sensitive topic and everyone has their own opinions on it but personally, I think the better 'cool uncle' approach would have been to pay people to stay at home, give money to small businesses to stay afloat, listen to scientists and doctors, and maybe not cut the provincial funding for public health in the first place. Kinda feels like a win-win, but, hey, that's just my opinion."
Melo is far from alone in his views on the province's handling of the pandemic, which is likely why his videos have resonated with so many Ontario residents.
He told blogTO he's already filmed a few more pandemic-related comedy sketches that he hopes to post soon, but TikTok has temporarily banned him from the platform for a week — though he's not sure why.
Still, he plans to keep making more and post them as soon as he can.
"I think everyone just needs a good laugh right now. It's almost been a year of this pandemic and the experience feels like a long movie that could and should have ended a while ago," he said.
"I'm aware there are strongly opinionated sides regarding the current situation and the government's response, as I've seen in the comment section of my TikTok," Melo continued.
"But I think regardless of where you stand, everyone just wants some laughter and joy. I think a lot of people feel lost and exhausted and just crave some humour. If me being silly on camera cracks a smile on someone's face, then I'm happy to continue to do so!"
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