Much as we would really like not to dwell any further on the 2019 novel coronavirus, which has just been declared a global pandemic, there really is no way around mentioning it and how it has become a central concern to many at this point. Following the sudden surge of confirmed cases in the Philippines, plus possible infection of government officials that has spurred those involved to self-quarantine and be tested, several TV programs of the major networks have closed doors to live audiences this week. As the fear of panic buying threatens to break in several communities, celebrities are doing their part to help limit further infections of COVID-19.
Inquirer.net has several reports on how the stars of the Philippine entertainment industry are looking to provide examples to their fellow Filipinos on how best to weather the storm of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and the steps needed to help keep the spread of infection down. ABS-CBN host Luis Manzano posted on Instagram a gentle reminder to people regarding proper etiquette when interacting with others. He reiterates the universal tip to never cough or sneeze in front of another person, and to wear a mask if feeling unwell to prevent viruses spreading. “Let us take care of each other even for simple diseases,” says Luis.
Meanwhile, his fellow Kapamilya stars Vice Ganda and Bela Padilla are playing their own roles to educate Filipinos on containing COVID-19 where meetings and greetings are concerned. The Department of Health has already announced the idea of “social distancing” or keeping interactions at a distance, while refraining from physical contact as much as necessary. Thus, Vice and Bela have gone on social media apologizing to fans when they would refuse to be hugged, pose for selfies or even shake hands.
“I’m really sorry that I wasn’t able to entertain taking selfies,” says Vice on Twitter. ““Social Distancing – Let’s avoid physical contact. These are ways for us to avoid COVID-19.” Bela too tweeted that she hopes her fans will understand her new reluctance in posing for photos with them. “This pandemic is real,” writes Padilla. “Sadly, the only way we can live our lives as normally as possible is to be extra cautious when we can.”
These celebrities have every right to worry. The DOH notes that there are now 49 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in the Philippines. Many more Filipinos have been confirmed COVID-19 cases outside of the country.
Image courtesy of Cosmo PH