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Baltimore Health Department's Social Media Offers Help Surviving The Pandemic

NOEL KING, HOST:

The Baltimore City Health Department uses @BMore_Healthy as its Twitter handle. Bmore is short for Baltimore. It's pretty clever, as is their new social media campaign to help people survive the pandemic.

ADAM ABADIR: I have friends that have reached out to me. Like, oh, you wouldn't believe, you know, what such-and-such did the other day. What did they do? Well, they went to a house party that no one was vaccinated at. Ah, you know, I have a meme for that that talks about that specific example.

DEBBIE ELLIOTT, HOST:

Yep. The Baltimore City Health Department is tweeting memes to encourage people to get vaccinated. Adam Abadir came up with the idea, and honestly, they're hilarious.

KING: Abadir is the communications director for the Baltimore City Health Department. And since it was his idea, we'll let him describe what they look like.

ABADIR: These are not, shall we say, professional images. These are all Shutterstock images. Think of, you know, those kind of quirky images - like, why would someone ever take a picture of this? That's what we're using for these memes because they're cheap. So it's usually a couple arguing in this really sort of cartoonish way. And the one that I'm thinking of - you know, you can't go to Kevin's house if you haven't been vaxxed, Brad. Like, it's a woman that's sort of pointing at, you know, the Brad in this situation. You know, he's looking at her like, why would you ever say this to me? And she's like, I'm serious. You can't go to his house if you haven't been vaxxed. And then all of our tag lines are get vaxxed.

ELLIOTT: Get vaxxed, Brad and salad doesn't cure COVID, Connor are just two of the posts that are, like any good meme, blowing up.

KING: Now, Abadir knows that memes are not necessarily enough to change minds, but he is hoping that a nudge from a friend or family might.

ABADIR: These memes are specifically designed with one thing in mind. And that is if you were vaccinated, we want you to chuckle; we want you to laugh. But then we want you to share this with one of your friends who might be on the fence and encourage them being like, hey, that thing you said to me the other day, they made a meme about it.

ELLIOTT: Shared laughter that just might save a life or two. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.