In a true watershed moment that sadly won’t be the last, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19. Hanks broke the news himself with a statement, noting that he and Wilson (his wife) will be tested, observed, and isolated “for as long as public health and safety requires.” The two are actually in Australia, where Hanks was shooting filmmaker Baz Luhrmann’s untitled Elvis Presley biopic (and where coronavirus testing is widely available), and will remain there for the time being.
Fears of coronavirus have been blasted as both overblown and undervalued, but Hanks and Wilson are now the two most prominent American people to have contracted the virus, and sadly probably won’t be the last as the world attempts to fight back against what has now been officially deemed a pandemic.
Yesterday proved to be the biggest shift in U.S. daily workflow since the virus began surfacing in December, as the NBA postponed the rest of its season after a player tested positive and the U.S. government installed a series of new protocols that include a partial travel ban to and from Europe.
And while entertainment is far from a priority at this point, that’s the industry we cover here on Collider, and it’s an industry that’s certainly in the middle of a period of uncertainty. Major events like SXSW and CinemaCon have been cancelled, late night and daytime talk shows are now filming without studio audiences, and some productions have had to shut down after members have tested positive. It’s going to get worse before it gets better, and it’s important to keep in mind that more famous people will test positive for COVID-19, more major events will be shut down, and more films will likely be delayed. Don’t let each successive announcement breed increased anxiety—take a deep breath, follow instructions, and wash your hands.
Indeed, I can’t think of a better, more reassuring message at this time than Hanks’ own announcement, which you can read in full below. Here’s to wishing Tom and Rita a speedy recovery.
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) March 12, 2020