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Craig Johnson, C.J. Box among Wyomingites urging Social Distancing in PSAs (VIDEO)

Craig Johnson (courtesy of Facebook, Wyoming COVID Response)

CASPER, Wyo. —  A series of new PSAs has begun to circulate, featuring notable Wyoming persons urging residents to abide by social distancing guidelines during the 2020 coronavirus caused COVID-19 pandemic.

Videos are posted below.

“I’m a professional at social distancing because I practice it nearly every day of my life,” said Wyoming author C.J. Box in a recent public service announcement airing throughout the state. He also encouraged Wyomingites to order out meals, stay home, and “maybe read a book or two. I can suggest some pretty good titles.”

The 30-second spot is part of a series being produced by Wyoming COVID Response, a collaboration of foundations including the George B. Storer Foundation. According to that foundation’s president and CEO, Elizabeth Storer, the coalition felt that “having authentic Wyoming voices convey a message that this virus is a real threat could help influence people across the state to stay home, stay safe and save lives.”

The three promotional videos currently distributed also feature author Craig Johnson and the Galloway family from their ranch outside Gillette.

Former Senator Alan Simpson, House Representative Andi Clifford, and Former Miss Wyoming Jessie Allen are slated to appear in forthcoming promos, produced by Cheyenne-based McCrimmon Productions.Wyoming COVID Response is the current branding of a group of five foundations: the George B Storer Foundation, Wyoming Community Foundation, the John P. Ellbogen Foundation, the Homer and Mildred Scott Foundation, and the Foundation for the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming. 

Since October they had been meeting informally to discuss how they might collaborate to address problems in Wyoming communities such as poverty, healthcare, and food insecurity, Liz Storer said in an e-mail interview. After the the governor’s closure order of public spaces on March 18th, the group met to discuss pivoting to address the crisis.
Storer said Wyoming COVID Response has strengthened the coalition foundations. “Even in just a few months, we have built relationships with each other that are based on trust and respect.”

A small but strident segment of Wyoming population is bristling at the aggressive social distancing measures proscribed by the CDC and Governor Mark Gordon. They see the response to the virus as overblown and unnecessarily harmful to the economy.

A recent survey conducted by the of University of Wyoming’s Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center (WYSAC) found that 66.6 percent said they trust their local media “a great deal or a good amount,” while 33.4 percent say they trust what they hear “not very much or not at all.”61 percent believe that COVID-19 is a real threat, and 28.8 say it’s “blown out of proportion.”

C.J. Box

The Galloway Family

Craig Johnson

Casey Rae

Jessie Allen

The Wyoming Department of Health provides COVID-19 case, variant, death, testing, hospital and vaccine data online. The department also shares information about how the data can be interpreted. COVID-19 safety recommendations are available from the CDC.