LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) - A public awareness campaign launched by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, the Kentucky Medical Association and the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care, focuses on wearing masks in public.
The “Wear It For Me” campaign includes social media graphics as well as public service announcements that the Foundation and KMA will be asking television, cable and radio stations around the state to run.
It features residents of Kentucky sharing their personal reasons for urging all Kentuckians to follow public health advice to wear a mask in public indoor spaces and when they cannot maintain a six-foot distance from persons who don't live in their own households.
"We can't know the stories of every person we come near at the grocery store or any place else where we have to go inside," said Foundation President and CEO Ben Chandler. "But we can infect them with the coronavirus without ever knowing we have it, either because we don't have symptoms, or the symptoms just haven't started yet. Wearing a mask over both the nose and mouth and staying six feet apart in public is the fastest way we can get back to some kind of normal, where fewer Kentuckians get sick, fewer Kentuckians die and fewer Kentucky businesses close again, either short-term or forever."
Dr. R. Brent Wright, president of the KMA, noted, "Wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance is about protecting those around you who may be at risk for severe complications from COVID-19, or who live with someone who is vulnerable. Moreover, as the research has evolved, we've learned that masks also reduce the wearer's chances of contracting COVID-19 by as much as 65 percent.”
Those appearing in the messages include:
--Ben Smith of Louisville, who learned he had a cancerous brain tumor in June, underwent surgery a few weeks later, and is now enduring daily chemotherapy and radiation.
--Mallory Brown, who teaches high school students in the Jessamine Career and Technology Center in Nicholasville.
--Dallas McGarity, a chef who owns The Fat Lamb in Louisville and Portage House in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and who won the Food Network's program Chopped in 2019.
--Michael Branch, the first Louisville firefighter to contract COVID-19, who is married to a physician and are the parents of an infant girl.
--Dr. Wright, who in addition to serving as KMA president, practices medicine at the TJ Samson Family
Medicine Center in Glasgow, serves as associate dean for Rural Health Innovation at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and also is chair of the Foundation's board.
The campaign runs through the month of August.