The deadly virus has killed more than 5,400 people and has infected at least 145,000 in more than 110 countries—including Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson—since it was first discovered late last year in Wuhan, China, which has had the most casualties. This strain of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has also particularly affected Italy, South Korea, Iran, Spain, Germany, and the United States, where testing is scarce due to bureaucracy.
The coronavirus has shut down major Hollywood productions and big festivals such as Coachella. Movie releases have been postponed. Broadway, other theaters, comedy clubs, and many schools have shut down temporarily. Many jobs have allowed employees to work remotely.
Millions of people around the world, including celebs, have opted to self-isolate at home to lower their risk of contracting the virus.
These are some of the celebrities giving back during this period;
On March 15, the singer announced on his Instagram Story that he is donating to the Mid-South Food Bank in his hometown of Memphis. The group helps people assemble and deliver non-perishable food to families in need.
The former Disney Channel actress announced her plan to donate to Feeding America, writing on Instagram, “It’s a crazy time out there in the world. School closures, job disruptions, lack of paid sick leave and the coronavirus’ disproportionate impact on adults age 60 and older and low-income families are all contributing to the demands placed on food banks across the country. Join me in supporting @feedingamerica today. Let’s help each other out rather than freaking the f–k out.”
BILL GATES & MELINDA GATES
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed at least $105 million to aid the global response to the novel coronavirus. The money will be used to improve detection, isolation and treatment efforts, protect at-risk populations, and accelerate the development of vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics.
On March 12, a day after the NBA suspended the remainder of its 2019-20 season due to coronavirus, the Cleveland Cavaliers star announced on Instagram, “Through the game of basketball, we’ve been able to address major issues and stand together as a progressive league that cares about the players, the fans, and the communities where we work. I’m concerned about the level of anxiety that everyone is feeling and that is why I’m committing $100,000 through the @KevinLoveFund in support of the @Cavs arena and support staff that had a sudden life shift due to the suspension of the NBA season.”
“I hope that during this time of crisis, others will join me in supporting our communities,” he added.
Pandemics are not just a medical phenomenon. They affect individuals and society on so many levels, with stigma and xenophobia being just two aspects of the impact of a pandemic outbreak. It’s important to know that those with a mental illness may be vulnerable to the effects of widespread panic and threats. Be kind to one another. Be understanding of their fears, regardless if you don’t feel the same. Be safe and make informed decisions during this time. And I encourage everyone to take care of themselves and to reach out to others in need — whether that means supporting your local charities that are canceling events, or checking in on your colleagues and family.
In February, the pop star pledged to donate 200,000 RNB ($29,000) to the Beijing Chunmiao Charity Foundation, a children’s charity in China, to help with the coronavirus relief efforts. The virus originated in the country in late 2019 and the majority of deaths have been recorded there.
“Watching the news I couldn’t imagine how scary it would be if a new disease was effecting my wife and my family and friends,” Bieber said on Instagram, alongside a video. “China we stand with you as collective humanity and have made a donation to support. Whether it be this or the fires of Australia we all need to be there for each other. Shout out to my friend @kriswu for the conversation.”