2020 has certainly started with a bang. Just as NBA fans were finally starting to accept the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) brought the entertainment industry to a screeching stop. TV shows are suspended, concerts are canceled, and pretty much everyone in Hollywood (or around the world, for that matter) is under self-quarantine.
As the world copes with an uncertain economy and more time at home, musicians, actors, and public figures are finding ways to give back. From generous donations to creative ways to engage with fans, these stars prove we’re stronger when we all come together.
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds support those in need
The Coronavirus has challenged the world like no event in recent history. Children are out of school, employers are laying off employees by the thousands, and the stock market is in constant flux. Because of economic uncertainty, many families worry about how they will pay their rent or provide food for their families.
As local schools work tirelessly to provide meals to children in need, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds announced they have donated $1 million to Feeding America and Food Banks Canada (Reynolds is a Canadian native). The Deadpool actor took to Twitter to share the news, writing, “I think we can all agree, COVID-19 is an a-hole,” he continued, “COVID-19 has brutally impacted older adults and low-income families. Blake & I are donating $1 million to be split between Feeding America and Food Banks Canada. If you can give, these orgs need our help.” In her post, Lively joked, “Now can someone please tell Ryan that “emotional distancing” from his mother in law is not a thing.
The movie stars aren’t the only ones who are giving back. Russell Wilson, Ciara, and Justin Timberlake also announced generous donations. Country singer Brad Paisley revealed that he and his wife would be using their store to make deliveries to the elderly in the community, while Dierks Bentley promised to pay each of his 90 employees $1,000 to help during this time of need.
The music plays on
Social distancing is just not possible in a packed arena. Consequently, performers across all genres have canceled their shows indefinitely. But for some artists, shelter in place orders just mean a change in venue. Artists like John Legend and Luke Combs have decided to stream condensed concerts, live online.
On March 17, Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin performed several songs during an Instagram Live event. He captioned the post #TogetherAtHome and tagged John Legend, prompting the Ohio native to stream his own intimate show. Country artist Keith Urban joined the movement, with a special guest appearance from his wife Nicole Kidman. Pink also performed her own show, calling the stream a free concert/piano lesson.
Sometimes laughter is the best medicine
Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson were two of the first celebrities to announce they had been diagnosed with COVID-19. While fans have flooded the stars with prayers and well wishes, the Cast Away star and Boy Genius actress have found a way to stay positive through it all.
The actors, who were in Australia while Hanks filmed an untitled Elvis Presley movie, have shared updates about their status on social media. One week after the couple’s diagnosis, Hanks wrote, “Good News: One week after testing Positive, in self-isolation, the symptoms are much the same.” He went on to reveal, “Bad News: My wife has won 6 straight hands of Gin Rummy and leads by 201 points.”
Another bright spot — as a consequence of self-isolation in the land down under, Hanks says he has learned “not to spread my Vegemite so thick.”