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Tom Hanks was on The Today Show yesterday to promote Greyhound, his WWII movie coming out on Apple + this Friday. Tom and his wife, Rita Wilson, were the first high profile celebrities to get coronavirus, and they thankfully quarantined, recovered relatively quickly and are seemingly fine now. We don’t know the long term effects of this virus though and that’s one of the many reasons it’s scary. Tom helped educate us about how debilitating it can be and how much symptoms vary. Now, as so many states are opening up and cases are spiking exponentially, Tom wants to keep educating us about how to stay safe. It’s so frustratingly simple and yet so many people are failing at it.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen with COVID-19. The idea of doing one’s part, though, should be so simple: Wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands,” Hanks told host Hoda Kotb. “That alone means you are contributing to the betterment of your house, your work, your town, your society as a whole. And it’s such a small thing. … It’s a mystery to me how somehow that has been wiped out of what should be ingrained in the behavior of us all.”
Though Hanks and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, were in “awfully good hands” and not “afraid” after testing positive for COVID-19, he didn’t want to “dismiss” the severity of their symptoms. The pair became the first major stars to go public with diagnoses in March while visiting Australia for an upcoming Elvis Presley biopic starring Hanks as Presley’s manager, Col. Tom Parker.
“We felt rotten,” Hanks said. “I had body aches — crippling, cracking body aches. … The Australian officials put us in the hospital, and they kept very strict attention on our fevers, because if they had spiked, we were going to be in trouble; our lungs, because if they had filled up or scarred we were going to be in trouble; and the levels of our oxygen.”
Although the screen icon believes the “vast majority of Americans” understand the importance of protecting themselves and others from COVID-19, he didn’t mince words when laying out the dangers some have chosen to ignore.
“Look, there’s no law against ignorance. It’s not illegal to have opinions that are wrong,” Hanks said. “But there is a darkness on the edge of town here folks, and … let’s not confuse the fact: It’s killing people. … Yeah, that’s right. It’s killing people.
“And you can say, ‘Well, traffic accidents kill an awful lot of people too.’ A traffic accident happened because a lot of drivers aren’t doing their part. … I don’t know how common sense has somehow been put in question.”
America’s dad is telling us that it’s common sense, it’s basic, it’s killing people not to wash our hands, socially distance and wear masks. I went to the store yesterday late last night, when I usually go now, and there were people without masks looking like they were itching for someone to tell them they’re a-holes. Maybe I was imagining that, but there’s a willful ignorance in not wearing a mask at this point, and in continuing to act like everything is fine. It really highlights the divide right now in America, and the way that Trump is encouraging people to be virus-spreading killing machines in the name of white supremacy.
You can see Tom’s interview here.
The Oscars feel like they were five years ago, right?
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