In the wake of the shocking news that Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson had received a positive diagnosis for COVID-19, many took to social media and quickly sent their best wishes towards the couple. Hanks revealed the two had contracted the coronavirus with a lengthy post on Instagram. While many were sending their thoughts and prayers, a notable comedian decided to take a different route.
Comedian and actor, Bill Burr opted to make a joke about Hanks' diagnosis. Burr made light of the overwhelming reaction and the dominoes that began to fall afterward. "I think when Tom Hanks doesn’t die, everyone is gonna chill," his tweet read.
The tweet didn't cause much controversy, but instead it did create a conversation about the world's reaction to the news of a celebrity coming down with the virus.
I think when Tom Hanks doesn’t die, everyone is gonna chill.— Bill Burr (@billburr) March 13, 2020
"All jokes aside, this is correct. The public figures will be the calming or panicking triggers," one user tweeted. "Australia better be putting everything they have into saving those two."
On March 12, Hanks urged his followers to "take care of yourselves" after announcing that he and his wife had contracted the virus while he was filming an Elvis Presley biopic in Australia.
"Hello, folks. Rita and I are down here in Australia," Hanks' caption began. "We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive."
The two were among the first celebrities to test positive for the coronavirus. From there, the NBA and all of the sports world was put on notice after the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder game was suspended prior to tip-off after it was discovered that Rudy Gobert had symptoms.
Gobert, along with teammate Donovan Mitchell, both tested positive and forced the NBA to quickly react and suspend the season. A few days later, Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons tested positive. The NHL, along with leagues like the XFL, MLS and spring training in the MLB, also took action in postponing their business.
On March 11, the World Health Organization made the announcement that coronavirus had officially been labeled a pandemic.
"Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. "It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death."
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