When one of Malibu’s most popular celebrity couples tested positive for the coronavirus, the world took notice.
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson apparently contracted the virus in Australia.
The Oscar-winning 63-year-old actor made the journey down under filming Baz Luhrmann’s untitled biopic about “All Shook Up” icon Elvis Presley. No, Tom isn’t playing the king. His role is as Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
“Hello Folks,” Hanks said in a statement. “Rita and I are down here in Australia. We felt a bit tired, like we had colds and some body aches. Rita has had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers, too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the coronavirus and were found to be positive.
“Well, now. What to do next?” They continued. “The medical officials have protocols that must be followed. We Hanks will be tested, observed and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires. Not much more to it than one-day-at-a-time approach. We’ll keep the world posted and updated. Take care of yourselves.”
Elsewhere, Italy remains in lockdown and the normally bustling streets of Spain have tuned into ghost towns. World famous museums, cafés, shops and restaurants are closed.
President Trump declared a national emergency and his travel ban from Europe has been expanded to include the UK and Ireland. Some airlines have cut off travel to cosmopolitan cities like Milan altogether and one-industry towns like Venice, which relies completely on tourism, are empty.
The cruise industry has been walloped with big carriers like Carnival and Princess remaining at dock. Some have suspended operations for the next 60 days.
The ban has blasted the travel industry with losses estimated at up to $100 billion. And the ripple effect goes down the line to hotels, cab drivers, valet parkers, restaurant servers, bus boys, you name it.
The bright lights of Broadway and Radio City Music Hall have gone dark. Phrases like “social distancing” “self-isolation” and “new normal” have become part of the national vocabulary.
Here at home, local schools, churches and large concert venues have been cancelled. The Staples Center is closed and nearly all professional sports leagues are on hiatus.
TV shows are being cancelled. Some shows are going on but without live audiences in the crowd to laugh, root and cheer them on.
In addition to inconvenience, frustrations are flowing over into supermarkets, which had long lines with multiple carts filled to the brim with toilet paper, steaks, frozen foods and water.
Ralphs, CVS and Supercare have been without hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes for weeks.
The hoarding continues despite notices that plead with customers to be courteous and limit similar items to two. It’s the kind of thing that just wants you to hit a movie theater with a nice bag of popcorn... but that isn’t in the cards, either.