1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Hollywood stars on the coronavirus

Paula Rösler
March 17, 2020

Celebrities such as Ellen Pompeo, Lady Gaga and Ben Affleck are using their online reach to draw attention to the risk of the coronavirus spreading rapidly. The message is clear: We all have a responsibility.

Ellen Pompeo Schauspielerin
Image: Getty Images/F.Harrison

Ellen Pompeo thanks hospital staff, Lady Gaga refrains from visiting her elderly relatives and Ben Affleck calls for support for the needy: More and more Hollywood stars are using their social media reach to encourage followers to do what they can to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The message is clear: We all have a responsibility.

Ellen Pompeo from Grey's Anatomy posts encouragement

In an emotional video message, US actress Ellen Pompeo from Grey's Anatomy fame (pictured above), addressed nurses and doctors: "Many of us have the privilege to self-quarantine and try to stay healthy, and none of you have that privilege." Pompeo said she wanted to thank the medical staff for their efforts. She concluded her appeal on Instagram by saying: "Anyone who works in a hospital or the health care industry, you rock. We love you, stay safe."

Reports of exhausted hospital staff in Italy and China show what could, in the worst-case scenario, become the case in other countries if healthcare systems are unable to withstand the rapidly increasing number of intensive care patients. It's a matter of life and death when medical personnel in this situation are forced to make dramatic decisions.

Lady Gaga in an outlandishly long pink dress
Not a bad outfit to maintain the proper distancing: Lady Gaga at the Met Gala in 2019Image: picture-alliance/AP Images/Invision/E. Agostini

Lady Gaga in quarantine at home

Slowing the spread of the virus is important in order to relieve hospitals as much as possible in the coming weeks. Many celebrities, like Lady Gaga, are using their reach to encourage their fans to do their part by keeping social contact to a minimum.

"I wish I could see my parents and grandmas right now," she said on Instagram while in voluntary quarantine at home, "but it's much safer not to so I don't get them sick in case I have it." Instead, she is staying home with her dogs, which is the best and healthiest thing anyone can do now.

Film recommendations for quarantine, from an expert

For those who want to do the same as Lady Gaga, Hollywood director James Gunn offers an idea of how to spend the time. On Twitter, he posted a list of "10 great movies you likely haven't seen" — including Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (Paul Mazursky, 1969) and One Cut of the Dead (Shinichiro Ueda, 2017).

Meanwhile, Hollywood actor Ben Affleck drew attention to the most vulnerable populations, such as the children losing access to food, the elderly and low-income families who are especially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Affleck called on his fans on Instagram to donate to the country's food banks.

Vegemite: Tom Hanks tries a local delicacy a little too enthusiastically

Tom Hanks und Rita Wilson in formal dress
Out in public last February at the Oscars, now together in quarantine: Tom Hanks and Rita WilsonImage: picture-alliance/AP/J. Strauss

Tom Hanks posted an update, after announcing last week that he and his wife had been infected with the COVID-19 virus. The couple are still in quarantine in Australia, where they were diagnosed, and posted a picture of the iconic Australian spread on toast. The move brought a smile to the faces of some of the locals who informed him on social media that he'd prepared himself a bit of a Vegemite overload, and that it's a spread best enjoyed in small doses.