OU endorses Gov. Whitmer’s ‘Spread Hope, Not COVID’

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer introduced a collaborative campaign, “Spread Hope, Not COVID,” in September, and Oakland University is fully onboard. 

“Spread Hope, Not COVID” is meant to unite Michigan communities, including universities, businesses, healthcare facilities, government, places of worship, clubs and organizations, etc. Whitmer’s focus was simple safety precautions to minimize the spread of COVID-19. 

Her call to action includes wearing a cloth face mask over the mouth and nose, social distancing, washing and sanitizing frequently and getting tested for COVID-19. Each recommendation is also encouraged by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Aside from precautions, if someone does test positive for COVID-19, Whitmer recommends taking part in investigations and contact tracing with health and government officials. This helps to better understand COVID-19 and prevent spreading it to other people.

“We are not out of the woods yet, and we must all continue to step up and do our part to fight COVID-19,” Whitmer said. “Our ‘Spread Hope, Not COVID’ message is for all Michiganders to do everything in their power to reduce the spread of the virus and protect our families, frontline workers, educators, and small businesses.” 

Although the CDC has been recommending a similar set of precautions since March, the “Spread Hope, Not COVID” campaign combines safety and community by offering a common message. 

This message originally stemmed from a survey between July 8-13 of 2,047 Michigan residents ages 18 and older. Responses identified behaviors, attitudes and misconceptions connected to COVID-19. 

While Black Michiganders and women were statistically more likely to wear a mask in public, roughly 72% of Michiganders overall are wearing masks. To put that into perspective, roughly the same percent of college students (70%) have a job at some point in their college career. 

Geographically, there weren’t major discrepancies in mask wearing, outside of metro Detroit. People were more likely to wear a mask in metro Detroit. 

Among age groups, Baby-Boomers were generally more likely to wear a mask, and Generation X was less likely to wear a mask. These groups branched out from the average (72%) amount of people wearing masks. 

With some differences in mask wearing, “Spread Hope, Not COVID” was launched to put all Michiganders on the same page. Currently, there are over 50 various communities, including Oakland University, across Michigan that have pledged to participate in the program.

“The governor’s appeal unites us in the common purpose of making sure we’re acting responsibly, safely and doing everything we can to reopen the state,” President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz said to OU Magazine