As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise, and as healthcare workers attempt to control the spread of the illness while helping those who have been infected recover, the growing awareness of the pandemic has prompted a range of reactions from organizations and individuals around the world. That, of course, includes celebrities, who are responding to the circumstances by using their wide reach to influence their fans.
Some stars, like The View‘s co-host Sunny Hostin, are sharing opinions about the situation, while others, such as cellist Yo-Yo Ma, are doing what they can to help others get through this global crisis. Actress Rita Wilson even created a playlist if you happen to be in quarantine, which includes on-theme songs like Eric Carmen’s “All By Myself,” MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This,” and, perhaps most importantly, Destiny Child’s “Survivor.”
Many stars are sending out simple (yet meaningful) expressions of care, while some famous folks have even revealed that they’ve tested positive for the illness themselves. Among these messages are also plenty of tips and recommendations on how to handle the pandemic. Some guidance is reasonable, but some input would be downright laughable if it weren’t so dangerous to anyone who thinks it’s legitimate. If you’re wondering what you should and shouldn’t be listening to — other than the information coming directly from experts — here is a collection of the best and worst celebrity advice regarding the coronavirus.
Worst: Rudy Gobert set a bad example and paid for it
During the coronavirus pandemic, NBA player Rudy Gobert has become a symbol of what not to do thanks to what CNN described as a “prank … on members of the media that could have put them at risk of contracting the illness.” While leaving a press event on Mar. 9, 2020, Gobert didn’t offer any specific advice, but made his thoughts on behavior obvious by “touch[ing] every microphone and recorder in front of him in jest.” However, his joke was no longer funny (if it ever was) when Gobert tested positive for coronavirus just days later.
“I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered,” Gobert wrote on Instagram following his diagnosis. “I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as [a] way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus.”
Gobert also donated over $500,000 to help people who have been affected by the coronavirus, $200,000 of which would go to arena employees where The Jazz play following the NBA’s decision to suspend its season. Beyond that, he’s giving $100,000 each to social services in Utah and is sending around $111,000 to his native country, France. While it may have taken Gobert’s ill-advised actions to prompt him into doing the right thing, the next star on our list didn’t need such drastic motivation.
Best: Arnold Schwarzenegger included some animal pals to help send his message
While Arnold Schwarzenegger had something to share during the coronavirus pandemic that’s worth listening to, it may be hard to concentrate on what he’s saying when you realize that in the video he popped onto Twitter on Mar. 15, 2020, the actor is joined by a donkey named Lulu and a mini pony who goes by Whiskey. “See, the important thing is that you stay at home because there’s a curfew now. No one is allowed out. Especially someone who is, like, 72 years old,” the Terminator star said, referring to himself. “After you are 65, you are not allowed out of the house anymore in California. So we stay home and we eat here.” Schwarzenegger emphasized his point by offering his companions some carrots to nibble on.
While talking to his fuzzy friends about how they enjoy spending time together at home, Schwarzenegger paused to tell the camera (and those watching) to forget about going out to restaurants, public gatherings, or gymnasiums, saying that’s “out the window.” Alongside the video, the award-winning performer tweeted, “Stay at home as much as possible.” Urging his fans to “listen to the experts” and “ignore the morons,” Schwarzenegger ended his reassuring message by telling the public, “We will get through this together.”
Staying at home and listening to the experts is much better advice than the unhelpful rhyme that the next well-known figure shared on social media.
Worst: Raúl De Molina's tweet is not a valid tip
You surely know the old saying that claims an apple a day will keep the doctor away. While regularly eating fruit is indeed a good way to avoid unhealthy snacks, unfortunately, neither apples, oranges, pears, or even pomegranates are able to ward off the coronavirus, despite what one celebrity’s tweet might lead you to believe. Raúl De Molina may have won multiple awards during his career as the television host of Univision Networks’ El Gordo y la Flaca, but he won’t be earning any praise for his misguided advice regarding the coronavirus that could be potentially dangerous if taken seriously.
Back at the end of January 2020, Molina retweeted an article from the Daily Mail, which was reporting on “desperate” people in China who had “resorted to using FRUIT and BRAS as face masks” due to a shortage of surgical masks. The star also shared a line from the article: “A grapefruit a day keeps the coronavirus away!” Um, no, it won’t. It’s hard to tell whether or not Molina was serious, but whether you’re eating grapefruit or using one to supposedly keep you from inhaling germs, this is not a valid tip amid this global pandemic. Let’s hope no one thinks that it is.
Best: Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande want their fans to take the situation seriously
Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande are two of the most popular — and therefore most powerful — people in pop music. They’re also two celebrities who are urging their fans to do what they can to keep others safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
Swift reached out to her Instagram followers on Mar. 15, 2020, to address the fact that she was noticing “lots of get-togethers and hangs and parties still happening,” according to CNN. “This is the time to cancel plans, actually truly isolate as much as you can and don’t assume that because you don’t feel sick that you aren’t possibly passing something on to someone elderly or vulnerable to this,” she said in an Instagram Story, noting that we “need to make sacrifices right now.”
As for Grande, she also shared an important message with her social media followers. “I keep hearing from a surprising amount of people statements like ‘this isn’t a big deal’ / ‘we’ll be fine’ … ‘we still have to go about our lives’ and it’s really blowing my mind,” the songstress wrote in a statement she posted to Twitter. “I understand if that is how you felt weeks ago but please read about what’s going on.” Grande ended her message by telling the public not to “turn a blind eye.” The kind of behavior that both Swift and Grande are suggesting is just as smart as the next person’s actions are arguably over the top.
Worst: O.J. Simpson is a panic-shopper
In another example of what not to do during this pandemic, check out O.J. Simpson. The controversial figure is another celebrity who’s seemingly offering up guidance via their (iffy) actions. The former football player took to social media on Mar. 6, 2020, to tweet, “Coronavirus? Who’s afraid?” While the answer to that question is a lot of people, Simpson also shared a cringe-worthy photo of himself that may leave you shaking your head.
Standing in front of a Costco and wearing a face mask (which apparently won’t help you ward off the coronavirus, so don’t follow his lead in that aspect), Simpson was also pushing a loaded cart that was stacked high with cases of small bottles of water (which are terrible for the environment), disposable cups, paper towel, and a heck of a lot of toilet paper. This is what’s referred to as panic shopping, and it’s something that you should not do. Frankly, “Supermarkets are urging people not to buy more than they need,” according to BBC News. In fact, a group of 12 large supermarket chains in the U.K. released a joint statement asking their customers to be “considerate in the way they shop,” explaining that “buying more than is needed can sometimes mean others will be left without.” The same goes for the U.S.
Although Simpson’s certainly not the only person who’s buying up wild amounts of T.P., he’s also not someone who’s coronavirus-related actions should be followed.
Best: Judi Dench is just one star focusing on hand-washing
Judi Dench’s role in the Cats movie may not end up being her most respected role, but it’s still coming in handy during the coronavirus pandemic in a rather unexpected way. The actress appeared on social media in a video in March 2020 that can be seen on Metro‘s website. In the recording, Dench and writer and ex-Tory MP Gyles Brandreth demonstrate how to effectively wash your hands for an extended period of time by reciting Edward Lear’s poem, “The Owl and the Pussy-cat.” The performance ends as “Judi begins purring and nuzzling her friend.”
Although Dench’s hand-washing guidance may have been just what you needed, a few other famous faces have shared similar instructional videos. The Killers singer Brandon Flowers did the same with a rendition of “Mr. Brightside” that the band shared with its Twitter followers. Music industry icon Gloria Gayner opted for TikTok to create a video that lets people know that “it only takes 20 seconds to ‘SURVIVE!'” And, yes, her beloved power anthem is playing as she washes up in the same way we all should be doing. If you can lather up as many suds as the singer and include just as much hand-washing, hip-shaking sass, then you’ll certainly have a better chance of avoiding any illness. Or you could try Jimmy Fallon’s new tune, aptly titled “Wash Your Hands,” which instructs you on how to do just that. Handy, yes?
Worst: Krystal Nielson wants you to detox
“If you have a huge following on social media and want to share unverified medical ‘advice’: perhaps don’t!” That tip from BuzzFeed News is surely the only piece of guidance that should be followed in the coronavirus-related situation involving former Bachelor Nation contestant Krystal Nielson, who identifies as a health and fitness coach and is encouraging her Instagram followers to join her in a detox to help deal with the pandemic.
“I was just watching the news and a doctor was talking about how INFLAMMATION is what is causing people to display symptoms of the coronavirus,” she wrote. After noting that “smoking, alcohol, and high-sugar diets can cause MAJOR INFLAMMATION and inhibit our bodies ability to fight off illness,” Nielson claimed that it’s “more IMPORTANT THAN EVER to focus on HEALING ourselves from the inside out.” And the best way to do that, according to Nielson, is to eat “NOURISHING foods” and take “immune-boosting supplements” while also joining her in a “10-day detox … as part of a 4-week challenge.”
You should probably note that Nielson specifically suggests her Reset & Rebalance 2.0 program, which costs $397 per person, in case you were wondering what this kind of guidance will cost you (and how much she’s making off of monetizing this scary situation). Although, it may end up costing someone a lot more than money if they end up taking bad advice when it comes to keeping themselves safe from the coronavirus.
Best: Kim Kardashian shared an 'unusual coronavirus greeting'
If you want to keep up with Kim Kardashian, then you better get used to a new kind of greeting. With handshakes and high-fives out of the question due to the fact that the close contact can result in germs being transferred from one person to another, the reality TV star shared a video to her Instagram Stories that features her friend, Caesar, and family doctor demonstrating another possibility, according to E! News.
“The new, appropriate way to say hello,” Kardashian can be heard saying as the camera captures the two men tapping together their right feet before switching over and knocking the sides of their left feet together. The star then got involved, but explained that she “doesn’t have time for two,” so simply did a single foot tap with her pal.
The Mirror notes that the move “looked a little ungainly, especially for those that might find the balancing requirement a little too difficult” — maybe those people can just wave instead? — “but the reality star is promoting this as she ramps up her vigilance against the virus.” It’s certainly better to be vigilant when it comes to the coronavirus than to be seemingly foolish, like the next celebrity who shared a false and potentially dangerous opinion about the illness.
Worst: Be wary of Waka Flocka Flame's comment about coronavirus and minorities
The coronavirus has affected a range of people who are from different countries, different backgrounds, and different races. That may be a surprise to Waka Flocka Flame, who made a duo of false remarks during a Mar. 13, 2020, interview on Real 92.3 LA that you shouldn’t take as valid guidance in any way. While the rapper wasn’t offering up any tips or ideas on how to deal with the circumstances, he may have been (erroneously) trying to help others stay informed about the situation when he said the coronavirus is “fake” and added that “minorities can’t catch it.” To set things straight right off of the bat: That’s not true at all.
Flame then asked the host to name one example and while he couldn’t, if the musician industry pro was specifically referring to people of color, not only have we already mentioned the fact NBA player Rudy Gobert has tested positive, but so has actor Idris Elba. It’s unclear if that would have swayed Flame’s opinion. “We all descended from the same persons. Now, did we catch it? … It hit the people passing through our airport [in Atlanta], it ain’t touch them soulful folks,” he continued with his unproven and, if believed, potentially dangerous points.
Instead, people should probably listen to the final piece of good advice on this list, which comes from one of Hollywood’s most beloved famous figures.
Best: Tom Hanks is offering Mr. Rogers-like advice
Tom Hanks announced on Mar. 11, 2020, that both he and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, have tested positive for the coronavirus while in Australia for pre-production work on Baz Luhrmann’s untitled Elvis Presley film. While Hanks’ initial message explained that he and Wilson were taking “a one-day-at-a-time approach” and offered information, as well as assurances, about the couple’s health and care, he followed that with a pair of posts that focused on updates, gratitude, and guidance.
“There are things we can all do to get through this by following the advice of experts and taking care of ourselves and each other, no?” he wrote alongside a photo of himself and Wilson on Mar. 12. He also included a classic line from his classic 1992 film, A League of Their Own, adding, “Remember, despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball.”
However, it may have been the movie that earned Hanks a nomination for the 2020 Oscars, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (in which he starred as the late and beloved television host Mr. Rogers), that inspired his Mar. 15 post. Sending “thanks to the Helpers,” the beloved Hollywood actor suggested that we should “take care of ourselves and each other.” Good advice, indeed, now and always.
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