Culture Clips: #DontBeASpreader


The entertainment world has come to a screeching halt as coronavirus continues to spread across the globe. Movie premieres have been delayed, concerts have been cancelled, Broadway’s stages have gone dark and theaters everywhere have closed their doors in the hopes of containing the disease.

In addition to washing our hands and not touching our faces, we are all being encouraged to practice “social distancing.” For those who aren’t familiar, this simply means minimizing contact with people and maintaining a distance of at least six feet between you and others. Max Brooks, son of renowned comedian Mel Brooks (who is 93 years old and falls into the group of people whom the virus is known to be most dangerous to), posted a video about social distancing: “If I get the coronavirus, I’ll probably be OK. But if I give it to [Mel Brooks], 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.” The video takes place with he and his dad separated by a glass door and ends with Max going home and the hashtag #DontBeASpreader.

For many people, being quarantined in their homes and practicing “social distancing” sounds like a nightmare. However, as New York Times writer Kevin Roose puts it, “if there is a silver lining in this crisis, it may be that the virus is forcing us to use the internet as it was always meant to be used—to connect with one another, share information and resources, and come up with collective solutions to urgent problems.”

Of course, combatting cabin fever and finding something to do isn’t always as simple as it seems. So USA Today posted an article with 100 things you can do while self-sequestering from the world. Some of the suggestions included watching movies you’ve never gotten around to (check out Plugged In’s ideas about what to see here), using apps and YouTube videos to learn new skills, and using Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts or Marco Polo to video chat with your friends.

Vox reports that many people (mostly teens) have taken to TikTok to conquer their boredom while schools and businesses are closed, publishing videos of themselves goofing off, learning new dances, and in the case of Kristin Chenoweth, using disinfectant wipes to clean her house while singing increasingly high notes. USA Today shared that the Phoenix Suns have decided to keep their NBA season going by playing out the rest of its schedule using the video game NBA 2K.

Many other celebrities are attempting to help by donating and raising money for food banks across America. According to ABC News, Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams “partnered to launch Save With Stories, an initiative with Save the Children and No Kid Hungry in which they read stories on social media to fundraise for children left without meals during the COVID-19 crisis.” Pop star Lizzo tried to boost morale by announcing on Instagram that she would be hosting a live, mass meditation, saying, “we need healing from fear during this global crisis.” And Tony-winning actress Laura Benanti asked high school actors and actresses whose spring performances were cancelled to post videos of themselves singing so that she and other Broadway performers (including Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda) can encourage them in their efforts.

For tips on how to talk to your family about coronavirus while stuck at home, Focus on the Family has several tips—such as keeping calm, communicating and using this time for family fun. Emmy and Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks (along with his wife, Rita Wilson) was actually diagnosed with the virus earlier this week. But in a statement on Twitter, he simply said, “We Hanks’ will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires. Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no? … Take care of yourselves!”

And same to you, Plugged In readers.

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