Another day, another celebrity testing positive for coronavirus. This time though, it’s personal.
Idris Elba aka everyone’s man DJ Big Driis, has revealed in a tweet this morning that he has tested positive for coronavirus, though as yet he’s not showing symptoms.
In the video accompanying the tweet, he urges people not to panic, but to practise precautions: “This is serious. Now’s the time to think about social distancing, washing your hands… there are people out there who aren’t showing symptoms and that can easily spread it.”
Elba is one of many celebrities sending out the “stay the fuck home” Bat-Signal.
Ariana Grande logged on to tell people that no, the rumours are not true, coronavirus is in fact a big deal and we should be taking on the recommended social distancing measures. As well as proper hygiene—think hand washing with soap and coughing into a tissue—it’s one of the main things that will help flatten the curve.
“It is incredibly dangerous and selfish to take this situation that lightly,” she said, referencing the attitudes of the young and “healthy” who are still continuing to venture out as usual. “The ‘we will be fine because we’re young’ mindset is putting people who aren’t young and/or healthy in a lot of danger,” she said. “You sound stupid and privileged and you need to care more about others. Like now.”
Go off, sis.
She also brought attention to the H.R.6201 bill, urging her fans to call their senators to support it. The bill, if passed, would provide financial support in the way of sick leave and unemployment in the face of isolation due to coronavirus.
Taylor Swift has asked her fans (of which there are a few) to take social distancing seriously. “I’m seeing lots of get-togethers and hangs and parties still happening,” Swift wrote in an IG story. “This is the time to cancel plans, actually truly isolate as much as you can, and don’t assume that because you don’t feel sick that you aren’t possibly passing something on to someone elderly or vulnerable to this. It’s a really scary time, but we need to make social sacrifices right now.”
The importance of social distancing in protecting the elderly is beautifully illustrated by Mel Brooks (director of a bunch of iconic comedy films), and his son Max Brooks.
“If I get the coronavirus, I’ll probably be okay,” says the younger Brooks, “But if I give it to him, he could give it to Carl Reiner, who could give it to Dick Van Dyke, and before I know it, I’ve wiped out a whole generation of comedic legends. When it comes to coronavirus, I have to think about who I could infect.”
I don’t know whether it’s a nice thing that celebrities are using their public profile to spread this message, or sad that there’s not enough clear messaging in the U.S. from national sources to the American public that social distancing is imperative for flattening the curve. Do we need to beg people with a lil Harry Styles NPR Tiny Desk as a treat?
Multiple outlets are still reporting packed bars and St Patrick’s day street celebrations, which sucks—please do as the quarantined Italians do and raise spirits at a safe distance through the power of music.
By far and away the best celeb endorsement of staying at home that we’ve seen thus far though, is Miss Vanessa Carlton.
Just this once, it’s time to listen to the online celeb shitposting.