Bethel’s Masked Moose helps spread the word about staying healthy, open

BETHEL — The town has launched the Masked Moose Campaign — based on the idea that the community has excelled with following guidelines to “Keep Healthy, Keep Open.”
The campaign engages all businesses, schools, backgrounds and demographics while stressing the importance of following criteria to keep people safe. It is funded by the federal CARES Act through the state of Maine as a Municipal COVID-19 Awareness Campaign.
“Our campaign — captured using engaging illustrations, copy points and a live action moose — conveys the seriousness of the commitment community leaders and business owners have made to keep our beautiful place open,” said Loretta Powers, Bethel town manager.
Bethel’s Masked Moose campaign includes providing branded safety supplies, printed collateral, and the delivery of an illustrated, animated and customed moose. Each campaign component conveys safety messages, while the costumed moose distributes PPE, supplies and campaign inventory to local businesses, organizations, recreational sites, schools, micro-schools, home schoolers, trailblazers, leaf peepers, paddlers, and more. Campaign giveaways are intended to educate a diverse community in an appealing and alternatingly serious and fun way.
Amy Halsted, the campaign’s creative director, said, “An underlying theme, we strongly recognize that because our community has, in large measure, been an early and ongoing adopter of state, federal and CDC guidelines, we are in the enviable position of having nearly all our businesses and recreational sites mostly open. We know we can remain open and provide the kind of comprehensive recreation and cultural experiences our locals, visitors, second homeowners, families and children have come to expect in Bethel.”
As a mascot, the Masked Moose symbolizes dedication to safe health practices, conveying this idea to the entire community while thoroughly entertaining all he meets.
“It’s not easy for a moose to wear a mask, just as it hasn’t been easy for many Maine people to adapt to life with COVID-19 in our state,” said Dr. Nirav D. Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “But the folks in Bethel and all over the state have risen to the occasion to help make Maine safer for residents and visitors, with support from the Keep Maine Healthy municipal funding program. Wearing face coverings in public, staying at least six feet apart, avoiding unnecessary gatherings, and good personal hygiene are still the best ways to limit potential spread of the virus. If you don’t believe me, just ask The Masked Moose.”