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Coronavirus Finally Gets 'Real' for Americans after Tom Hanks and NBA Star Test Positive

Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson recently revealed that they had been diagnosed with coronavirus in Australia | Image credit: Reuters

Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson recently revealed that they had been diagnosed with coronavirus in Australia | Image credit: Reuters

With the number of cases in the US rising to over 1200, stars like Tom Hanks have now been tested positive with coronavirus. And Americans can't keep calm anymore.

For many in western countries such as the United States and England, the novel coronavirus pandemic started almost as a joke. While case after case was confirmed in Asia, many in the US including President Donald Trump seemed to not take the pandemic seriously and downplayed its severity.

However, with the number of confirmed cases in the US rising to over 1200, stars like Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have now been tested positive with coronavirus in Australia. And Americans can't keep calm anymore.

As soon as Hanks revealed the news on Instagram, social media went into a tizzy. Amid outpourings of support and prayers for the actors, many felt like the disease only "got real" after Hollywood's own Forrest Gump was tested positive. within minutes, Twitter was filled with alarmed tweets with netizens expressing shock and concern about COVID-19.

Some went as far as to say that Hanks was the first person to "actually describe" the symptoms of coronavirus. Nevermind the fact that almost every health-related organisation including the World Health Organisation has been issuing several detailed and regularly updated advisories about the symptoms of coronavirus as well as precaution for prevention and cure.

Fans were not even afraid to bring themselves in harm's way to protest their favourite star.

The flurry of horrified reactions to news of the Hanks's diagnosis sheds lights on the lack of seriousness regarding coronavirus in the US. Just recently, a man who had been tested positive with the disease broke out of quarantine and took his daughter to a school event, causing outrage.

In fact, even President Trump has repeatedly downplayed the spread of COVID-19 in the US, which was recently declared a pandemic by the WHO. As one Twitter user pointed out, had the Hanks been in US, they would never have known they had the symptoms as the stars would never have got themselves tested.

Hanks is not the only American celebrity to have been tested positive for coronavirus. National Basketball Association (NBA) star Rudy Gobert was also diagnosed with the disease. Ironically, he was tested positive just a day after he made a joke about the NBA.

Earlier in the month, rumour mills were working overtime to prove the fallacious claims of Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe being infected. The actor had to publicity deny being tested positive.

Among celebrities, reports suggest that a member of the cast or crew of Netflix's Riverdale series was tested positive. The show has reportedly halted production, though the identity of the patient remains concealed.

With many American celebrities being tested for coronavirus, the virus seems to have finally arrived in the US. And ordinary people seem to finally be waking up to the harsh reality of the pandemic. Also, no Coachella.