Entertainment & Arts

Twitter hopes Tom Hanks’ coronavirus news will make people take the outbreak seriously

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson at the Golden Globe Awards in January.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

In less than an hour on Wednesday, Tom Hanks revealed he and wife Rita Wilson had tested positive for coronavirus, the NBA announced it was suspending its 2019-20 season and President Trump said certain travelers from Europe would be barred from entering the U.S. for 30 days.

Earlier in the day, the World Health Organization referred to the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic for the first time.

According to WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the pandemic classification does not change the WHO’s strategy for slowing the outbreak and should not affect how countries are tackling cases.

On Twitter, however, at least some people seemed to hope others would finally start to take the outbreak more seriously.


Coachella’s postponed, the NBA is suspended, there’s a travel ban to Europe, Tom Hanks has coronavirus. If you’re still doubting the severity of all of this, I encourage you to do some more reading,” said producer Chet Porter on Twitter. “You and I might be able to fight it off, but I’m not sure if my parents can.”

Amid shock that a household name like Hanks has been affected by coronavirus, some used the occasion to point out how he and Wilson were probably only able to get tested because the pair are in Australia (there is a shortage of cornavirus testing in the U.S.).

Others wished the couple a speedy recovery.



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