INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb unveiled the #INthistogether social media campaign during a briefing from the statehouse Wednesday afternoon, April 1.
The intent of the campaign drives home the importance of social distancing. The campaign launches ahead of the state’s anticipated surge in positive cases of COVID-19.
The campaign features prominent figures in the state advocating for the practice of social distancing. Organizations such as Eli Lilly and the Indianapolis Colts signed on to participate, according to Holcomb.
“Social distancing is the most important and effective tool we have to defeat COVID-19,” said Gov. Holcomb. “If we act now, we can save lives and then re-open our state for business, group activities, sports and the other things we enjoy doing together as Hoosiers. But we need every person to take this seriously and do their part. We are truly in this together.”
All Hoosiers are encouraged to show how they are practicing good social distancing, whether they are at home, at an essential business or going out for essential needs, said a news release made available shortly after the conclusion of Gov. Holcomb’s briefing. The announcement included a community toolkit that allows everyone in the state to show they are #INthistogether. A wide range of resources can be found at INthistogethercampaign.com.
“This campaign is sharing a critically important message with the people of Indianapolis as well as residents across the state,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “It’s clear that social distancing works. And while restrictions have presented challenges for businesses, families and workers, the health and safety of Hoosiers has to continue being our top priority. In order to meaningfully address this public health crisis, we must ensure people understand that their actions impact the wellbeing of their neighbors. We really are in this together.”
As one of the campaign partners, Lilly has pledged to amplify the campaign by reaching out to other corporations, businesses and community organizations in addition to offering drive-through testing for health care workers and working with the scientific and medical community to defeat the coronavirus.
“Lilly is bringing the full force of our scientific and medical expertise to attack the coronavirus pandemic around the world. Here in our Indiana home, we feel a special responsibility to help bring our community together to practice proven and effective health strategies,” said David A. Ricks, chairman and chief executive officer of Eli Lilly and Company. “We’re honored to be working with Governor Holcomb, Mayor Hogsett and other partners to help Indiana rise to the challenge and flatten the curve. Lives depend on it.”
The #INthistogether campaign underscores the urgency of these social distancing tips:
- Stay home. Right now, staying home is the best way you can help our healthcare workers and first responders. Essential businesses are still open and everyone can go to grocery stores, the pharmacy and for medical care as needed.
- Avoid close physical contact. Remember to maintain a safe distance of six feet apart and keep up healthy hygiene practices, including wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, clean and sanitize frequently, and cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- If you feel sick. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, call your physician and try to isolate yourself from others in the home.
- Stay connected with friends and loved ones. There are multiple ways like video conferencing, when available, that allow people to see each other on computers and smart phones. People are also encouraged to write letters and call or text people to check in and connect socially. Try to say hi to neighbors from six feet away.
- Take care of yourself. That includes your physical health and mental well-being. Staying home does not mean you can’t go for a run or walk as long as you maintain a safe physical distance. Eating well, occasionally turning off the news and a good night’s sleep are important.
- Support our community. Look for creative ways to virtually give back to your community. Call an elderly neighbor, say hi over the fence, offer virtual tutoring or donate to an organization or community fund, like the Central Indiana Economic Relief Fund.
The Governor did not issue any executive orders during the briefing but said to expect more soon.
Gov. Holcomb described the state as “looking up the peak of the surge.” He urged the importance that Hoosiers “hunker down” and practice social distancing for the surge of positive cases expected in the next couple of weeks.
Gov. Holcomb said to expect an update “within the next week” regarding the stay-at-home order and other restrictions put in place due to COVID-19.
“We are monitoring minute by minute,” he said. Ahead of the surge, Holcomb said regarding his comments about the impending update, “read into that what you will.”
“We’re all in this together and we’ll get through it together,” said Gov. Holcomb.
Gov. Holcomb extended gratitude to Indiana businesses retrofitting operations to manufacture protective equipment for medical and other essential personnel. He encouraged that businesses continue to “churn and burn and keep the foot on the gas pedal.”
Other matters included:
- Gov. Holcomb’s request for FEMA disaster relief is pending review at the White House according to Indiana Department of Homeland Security Executive Director Steve Cox.
- Indiana State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box announced that COVID-19 testing has expanded to include essential personnel. However, due to a limited supply of tests, the focus of testing remains on those with severe symptoms or are at high risk with underlying medical conditions.
- Test results will continue to ebb and flow as more labs process tests and the state receives results, according to Box.