Tom Hanks Channeled His Inner Mr. Rogers In His Latest Coronavirus Update
Less than a week after confirming he tested positive for COVID-19, Tom Hanks posted a coronavirus health update, and it includes a message for health workers that would make Mr. Rogers’ proud. On Wednesday, Hanks revealed that he and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for COVID-19 in an Instagram post, and that the two would be "tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety required."
On Sunday, Hanks shared a new update on Instagram, posting a photo of a stuffed-kangaroo with an Australian flag and some Vegemite on toast. Hanks made a nod to Mr. Rogers in the caption, writing, "Thanks to the Helpers. Let’s take care of ourselves and each other. Hanx."
Hanks — who recently portrayed Fred Rogers in the film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood — appeared to be referencing a popular quote from the beloved children’s television personality. "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping," Rogers said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic on Wednesday, with over 2,000 cases confirmed in the United States, as of Mar. 13, per the Washington Post. Since Hanks and Wilson, who are in Australia for pre-production on Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic, announced that they’d contracted the virus, the two actors have modeled appropriate response measures and offered comfort for fans on social media.
Hanks’ most recent post is not the first time the actor referenced one of his iconic movie roles to reassure followers amid the public health crisis. On Friday, Hanks posted a selfie with Wilson on Instagram, writing, "@ritawilson and I want to thank everyone here Down Under who are taking such good care of us. We have Covid-19 and are in isolation so we do not spread it to anyone else." The Oscar-winner once again reiterated that the couple were, "taking it one-day-at-a-time" and "following the advice of experts."
Then, the actor wrapped up the post with a quote from his character, coach Jimmy Dugan, in A League of Their Own, writing, "Remember, despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball."
Wilson and Hanks are facing their situation with characteristic calm, humor, and clear heads. After revealing his COVID-19 diagnosis on social media, Hanks shared that upon arriving in Australia the couple experienced symptoms including fatigue, chills, and tiredness. He added that they were taking a "one-day-at-a-time approach" after receiving their diagnosis and promised updates.
Accompanying the reassuring message was a picture of a glove — not even a COVID-19 diagnosis could keep Hanks from his Twitter tradition of posting abandoned gloves, hats, socks, and shoes. Wilson and Hanks promised to post future health updates, and in the meantime, fans can model the actor’s behavior by staying calm, but also taking necessary health precautions and social-distancing measures to prevent spread of the virus.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and coughing, call NHS 111 in the UK or visit the CDC website in the U.S. for up-to-date information and resources. You can find all Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here, and UK-specific updates on coronavirus here.
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