Mascots have a long history in public health and these furry and inflatable characters are working tirelessly during this global pandemic. Great story in the Washington Post outlining the background of these characters.
Characters like Wellbee (above) helped promote the Polio vaccine and Smokey the Bear are part of the long tail of public health and safety characters in US history. But this trend is even bigger in parts of Asia where mascots are a larger part of the culture. Here is a really good post from Mondo Mascots looking and several examples of how mascots are encouraging social distancing and mask wearing in Japan.
Covid-kun is a new coronavirus mascot from Thailand who teaches kids to wash their hands and social distance. pic.twitter.com/pxZDOUNjj7
— Mondo Mascots (@mondomascots) March 26, 2020
Here many sports mascots are wearing masks to encourage use at sporting events. We had a great discussion with David Raymond on the January 2021 Party in the Back Podcast about the decision to have your mascot character in a mask.
Also mascots have been active spreading the word beyond mask wearing, including a Do the Five Challenge here last spring. In this challenge we encourage sports mascots to do their part on social media to spread the CDC’s recommend five preventative measures to spreading Corona Virus….including a spectacular entry from the Spurs Coyote.