Cover photo of Taylor Swift from Wikimedia Commons. Swift has used her platform to urge her young fan to follow the government’s guidance regarding the coronavirus
Arts & Entertainment Staff Writer
For better or worse, celebrities are some of the most influential people on the planet.
With millions of fans, they have both a platform to speak on as well as money to use to their advantage.
In the midst of a global pandemic, people are turning to medical professionals, their respective governments and the media for information and advice.
While they might not be the best sources for information, stars still have a role in preventing and eventually ending COVID-19.
A few weeks ago when the United States first started seeing cases of COVID-19, medical professionals and government officials asked the public to practice social distancing.
Americans were advised not to travel unless absolutely necessary, yet many people went ahead with their spring break plans.
Rumors that the virus is only dangerous to the elderly and immunocompromised circulated.
Fearing people weren’t taking the warnings seriously enough, celebrities began speaking out.
Pop stars Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift both took to social media.
With a following of 72.4 million, Grande sent a tweet that pleaded with people to take this seriously and to self-isolate.
“It is incredibly dangerous and selfish to take this situation that lightly,” Grande wrote.
She also called out those who aren’t concerned about their health because they’re young, saying to them, “You sound stupid and privileged and you need to care more about others. Like now.”
In a post on her Instagram story, Swift also expressed her concerns, telling fans, “I love you guys so much and need to express my concern that things aren’t being taken seriously enough right now.”
She reminded her fans and followers that “it’s a really scary time but we need to make social sacrifices right now.”
An onslaught of other famous figures decided to speak out too.
Actor and Comedian Seth Rogen also spoke out, imploring business owners and managers to let their employees work from home if possible.
Former President Barack Obama shared information on the containment of COVID-19, including graphics showing the effect of social distancing on the spread of the virus.
Watch this. It shows why we should all do the right thing and stay home to the fullest extent possible. All of us can help slow the spread of the virus, protecting the elderly, the vulnerable, and each other. https://t.co/FgffQrMVB7
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 15, 2020
Rapper Lil Nas X offered to send some of his Twitter followers money for them to get food so they could stay home.
“Deadpool” actor Ryan Reynolds shared information about donating to organizations like Feeding America as well as a humorous video encouraging fans to stay home and stay healthy on Twitter.
Many other celebrities have also used their platforms to share information and messages about COVID-19 with their fans.
Celebrities are also sharing their diagnosis with the virus.
Actor Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson shared that they tested positive for Coronavirus on March 11 and have since shared updates about their health.
Idris Elba also shared that he had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and was not symptomatic but isolated.
Former Bachelor Colton Underwood also shared an update on his health after being tested positive.
On his Instagram, he shared his symptoms to shed light on the illness and show others that the virus is something to take seriously.
Basketball player Kevin Durant, actor Daniel Dae Kim and Canadian Prime Minister’s wife Sophie Trudeau are a few of the others who tested positive for COVID-19.
Actor Mark Blum, chef Floyd Cardoz, playwright Terrence McNally and saxophonist Manu Dibango are notable names among those who have died as a result of complications related to coronavirus.
In response to COVID-19 and efforts to social distance, some celebrities have used social media to connect to fans.
The “Together, At Home” series put on by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Global Citizen aims to encourage people to stay home by providing entertainment in the form of livestream concerts from famous musicians.
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen were live with their family March 17.
Irish singer Niall Horan also played a concert for the series using material from his latest album.
Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes joined up to perform some of their songs together including their collaboration “Señorita.”
Country music star Luke Combs performed live from his garage and rapper Common provided entertainment with a freestyle referencing WHO and COVID-19.
If there was ever a time to come together, that time is now.
Many celebrities have set an example for the rest of the population to follow. They’ve made donations, spread awareness, they’re staying home and some are even providing free entertainment.
Now it’s up to everyone else to do their part. Stay at home, stay safe, if not for yourselves then for those more vulnerable to this virus. We’re all in this together.