As the number of COVID-19 patients continues to surge, everyone is doing their part to help flatten the curve. Using their platforms for good, these stars are going out of their way from where they stand.
For the Philippine entertainment industry, the community quarantine meant temporary hiatus from taping, shooting, and participating in live shows. However, don’t think that it’s clean a break for these stars. Given a greater platform with a wider scope, local and international celebrities are providing a much needed call for contribution, which positively influences everyone on how to be of help during this community quarantine. Stressing that this is not a time to entirely lock ourselves and wait for the frontliners to solve everything, but to actively do ones part, even with the limits in movement.
As this is a global pandemic, no one is spared, not even seemingly impenetrable celebrities, with reports coming in that a good few were tested positive of Covid-19 such as Mikel Arteta, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Daniele Rugani, Manolo Gabbiadini, Timo Hubers, Rudy Gobert, and Donovan Mitchell. After being one of the first high-profile stars who tested positive for COVID-19, celebrity couple Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks dutifully kept themselves in isolation, making sure no one else gets infected and would tweet updates from time to time. Calm and collected, the level-headed approach of the two became a beacon for the world to look on to as the world battles the virus. Following the orders of science and exercising precautions, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have inadvertently become a definition of what to do in times like these, and given the way the world works, it only is a matter of time when the rest will follow their lead.
Next to China, South Korea is the second in Asia in terms of Covid-19 confirmed cases when it climbed to 8086 as of March 14, 2020. With this alarming case count, Korean stars were quick to act on the situation in their own responsible way. Avoiding the shortage of masks, Korean singer Hong Jin-Young, actress Ham So-Won, and K-Pop band Super Junior donated thousands of surgical masks, alleviating any potential shortage, which was of great help to the swift and scientific response of their government. Proving that they are more off stage and off cam, these K-Drama and K-Pop stars donated money for the Covid-19 outbreak: actor Lee Si On with ₩1 million KRW, actress Kim So Hyun, Red Velvet’s Joy, Yeri, and Seulgi with ₩10 million KRW each. Korean singers Chungha and Soyou gave out ₩20 million KRW each. More than just lip service, these personalities have done so quietly and mostly directed to medical research, so as to find a tangible solution in the rabid risen of casualties from the Coronavirus.
Korean rapper ZICO and TVXQ’s Yunho contributed with ₩30 million KRW each, Apink’s Son Naeun, Kang Daniel, Kim Sung-Joo, and Nam Joo-Hyuk with ₩50 million KRW each, and Lee Jong-Suk, Kim Jong-Kook, Yeom Jung-Ah, Girl’s Generation’s Yoona, Song Kang-Ho, Red Velvet’s Irene and Wendy, BTS’ Suga, Lee Seung-Gi and Park Seo-Joon with ₩100 million KRW individually. Even the cast of the hit K-Drama series Crash Landing On You, Son Ye-Jin and Hyun Bin gave ₩100 million KRW and ₩200 million KRW respectively.
On the local front, there have been actions from the stars we look up to, but perhaps the most tangible so far came earlier this morning, when Bela Padilla took to Twitter to share her move to donate. Via a tweet, Bela stated that she set up a GoGetFunding account to raise money to be given out to 16 cities of Metro Manila equally. With high hopes to hit the Php1 million target, you too can help by sharing the link to extend to more online users. She has also brought up the idea of setting up food drives and soup kitchens to service the front liners working hard to keep the surge of the Coronavirus at bay. We’re sure that this heartwarming step will surely go a long way, Bela.
Even the court is taking a shutdown due to the outbreak. To avoid the spread of the coronavirus, NBA had to suspend a season. While this could counts a sadded time for the athletes to strategize, this, however, severely affects the income of the arena staff. Expressing their utmost support, NBA stars stepped in and helped to pay the salaries of the employees. Cleaveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Wesley Loven and Detroit Piston’s Blake Griffin both pledged to give $100,000 for the employees of Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse and Little Ceasars Arena respectively. Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo also donated $100,000, which the Bucks organization matched. Without disclosing a definite amount, New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson promised to pay for the salaries of Smoothie King Center employees for 30 days.
While there are still a rampant proliferation of unfortunate news such as people thinking only of themselves, hoarding surgical masks, alcohols, sanitizers, and even tissues, it is most refreshing and commendable to see celebrities go the extra mile even if they too are directly affected by all of this just like us. Striking a fair balance with their fame and fortune, the situation we all are in is made slightly better by these stars, proving to be that crack of light in an obscenely dreary and grim prospect ahead of us. If anything, this makes us stand by them, standing harder even more than before.
Additional text by Angelo Ramirez de Cartagena