In an Instagram post, actor Tom Hanks surprised the world last week when he announced he and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, have been diagnosed with COVID-19. 

“Hello, folks,” the Forrest Gump star wrote. “Rita and I are down here in Australia. We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita 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.”

The Hollywood duo have been in Queensland, Australia for the shoot of Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic Elvis, as Hanks is cast as Colonel Tom Parker in the movie. The husband and wife were admitted to the Gold Coast University Hospital for medical care. Hanks, Wilson, and five other individuals were confirmed to be afflicted with COVID-19 on the same day, and Australian health officials determined all seven had contracted the disease outside of Australia.

The 63-year-old star continued, “Well, now. What to do next? 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 a one-day-at-a-time approach, no? We’ll keep the world posted and updated. Take care of yourselves! Hanx!”

Hanks has Type 2 diabetes, a chronic medical condition that the CDC says may increase the risk of severe COVID-19 illness. But fortunately, both he and Wilson seem to be doing well. Reaching out to update their many fans, Hanks again took to Instagram, writing: 

“Hello folks, Rita Wilson and I want to thank everyone here Down Under who are taking such good care of us. We have Covid-19 and are in isolation so we do not spread it to anyone else. There are those for whom it could lead to a very serious illness. We are taking it one-day-at-a-time. 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? Remember, despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball. Hanx”

Wilson and Hanks’ son, Colin, tweeted an update after talking on the phone with them, saying, “They both are fine. They’re not even that sick. They’re not worried about it.” And he thanked everyone for their concerns and outpouring of support. 

As Hanks and Wilson are quarantined down under, they’re keeping their spirits up by reaching out to family, friends, and fans, and Wilson is inviting people to add to her growing playlist of songs to listen to while under quarantine—aka “Quarantunes.”

Similarly, as many people across the globe are being restricted to their homes in hopes of slowing the pace of the highly contagious coronavirus, they’re finding creative ways to raise morale. For instance, during a nationwide lockdown, quarantined Italian residents found creative ways to interact with one another and lift their spirits. They opened their windows and took to their balconies to greet each other, sing Italy’s national anthem in flash-mob style, bang rhythms on pots and pans, clap, and blast their favorite music during this difficult time.

Here in the states with so many people hunkering down at home, the internet is abuzz with acts of kindness between neighbors, people finding ways to check on the elderly, and organizing ways to keep track of one another. They share on social media what they’re cooking, how they’re spending time in the garden to calm their nerves, playing board games with family members, dancing, gaming, and who knows? Maybe they’ll watch a Tom Hanks or Rita Wilson movie while they’re at it. Cast Away, Toy Story, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, or Wilson-produced My Big Fat Greek Wedding … whatever we do, whatever happens, we’re all in this together.

 

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