Launch Of New COVID-19 Awareness Campaign Renews Battle Over Mask Mandate

Nebraska state and local officials yesterday launched a new public awareness campaign aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. 

Do Right, Right Now” will run at least 9 months

      “Do Right, Right Now” encourages Nebraskans to wear masks, wash their hands, and stay six feet away from others. It includes posters and billboards as well as radio, tv and newspaper ads with dozens of community partners. 

     Douglas County Health Director Adi Pour said the messages aren’t new, but the strategy of bringing them all together as “Do Right, Right Now” is – calling it “a uniform comprehensive message that you are going to hear from several different avenues, even if you may not listen in to one that has a specific campaign going on”

        The unveiling of the campaign in a video-chat news conference triggered the latest disagreement between Gov Pete Ricketts and health care experts over mask mandates. 

      Dr James Lawler, a top infectious disease expert at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, called this is the most dangerous time of the pandemic so far with new cases and hospitalizations doubling every 2 to 3 weeks.

         Dr Lawler said we’ll see roughly 2,000 COVID-19 patients needing hospitalization across the state by early December unless we “dramatically change course. He called for the state to immediately institute a statewide mask mandate, citing extensive research that shows mandates increase mask wearing compliance.

      In response, Gov. Pete Ricketts repeated his standing argument that mandates inspire resistance, citing public comment in opposition to a mandate in Omaha.