Thanks to the rapid spread of COVID-19, people are being encouraged to stay home in the name of public safety. And celebrities like Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, and Hilary Duff are encouraging social distancing to fans in light of the rapidly increasing coronavirus outbreak. After seeing people still gathering at restaurants, bars, and clubs in large numbers over the weekend, despite CDC warnings, these superstars are speaking out about the risks of going out in public and possibly spreading the coronavirus to vulnerable populations without even knowing it.
As of Monday, Mar. 16, the U.S. has at least 3602 positive coronavirus cases across 49 states, Washington D.C., and three U.S. territories, as reported by The New York Times. At least 66 deaths have been reported so far. Older people and those with chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for serious illness, which is a major reason why social distancing is being encouraged among all age groups.
The opportunities for major gatherings are rapidly decreasing. Major cities like New York and Los Angeles have issued mandates for theaters, nightclubs, bars, and non-essential retail stores to temporarily close. And the CDC has issued a statement discouraging gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks. This is on top of the high number of music festivals, film premieres, and TV productions that have been postponed or cancelled due to coronavirus concerns. And these celebs want to make sure their fans are getting the message.
Taylor Swift took to her Instagram Story on Sunday, March 15, to voice her concerns about people still gathering despite the risk of spreading coronavirus. "This is the time to cancel plans, actually truly isolate as much as you can," she wrote. "Don't assume that because you don't feel sick that you aren't possibly passing something on to someone elderly or vulnerable to this."
On Saturday, March 14, Lady Gaga shared her insights on coronavirus after having conversations with doctors and scientists, and encouraged everyone to isolate themselves, especially from vulnerable groups. "I wish I could see my parents and grandmas right now but it’s much safer to not so I don’t get them sick in case I have it," she wrote.
The next day, she took to Instagram again to promote kindness as a method to get through the crisis. "My thought for the day is to accept there will be times we feel powerless and out of control," she said. "We can fill that space with kindness and be a part of the solution to a world problem."
Hilary Duff did not mince words when it came to encouraging — or rather, demanding — fans to self-quarantine themselves. "To all of you young millennial assh*les that keep going out and partying, go home," she said in a video posted to her Instagram stories. "Stop killing old people, please." Points were made.
Sophie Turner kept her message to fans short, but not too sweet: "No f*cking around," she wrote on her Instagram story, along with a photo of her and husband Joe Jonas in medical face masks and gloves as they headed out in their car. "Stay safe everyone," she concluded. If rumors that Turner is pregnant with the couple's first child are true, then she has all the more reason to take every precaution possible.
Meanwhile, Jonas, along with his brothers Nick and Kevin Jonas, sent out a message encouraging social distancing on the Jonas Brothers' official Twitter account.
In an Instagram video, Serena Williams let fans know what she'll be doing while she's "in solitude" for the next six weeks, including getting her glam on without leaving the house. "Being a wife. Being a mom. Cooking. Cleaning. Spring cleaning. Face mask. Makeup tutorials," she wrote, before encouraging fans to do the same. "I’ll let you know how it goes.... stay safe everyone. This is serious."
Not only is Ariana Grande encouraging fans to stay at home ("your hip hop yoga class can f*cking wait i promise"), the powerhouse singer is also urging the Senate to pass H.R. 6201, a bill that would provide free coronavirus testing and ensure people receive paid sick leave if needed. "Call your senators," she told her Twitter followers. "We need them to support this plan. Everyone deserves to be financially supported and feel safe at home during this time."
Miley Cyrus has been posting fitting Hannah Montana throwbacks for some much-needed humor while in self-quarantine, but she's also been discouraging fans from panic buying products to ensure everyone is able to buy necessities. "NO ONE needs every soup in the store," she wrote on Instagram. "The more we hoard, the more expensive and sparse necessities will become, leaving many without essentials. This is a great time to practice restraint."
The former Governor of California and the Terminator himself posted a video to Twitter asking followers to stay away from restaurants, bars, and public places in general for older people's sake. And he did it all while feeding his miniature donkeys. "Stay at home as much as possible," he wrote. "Listen to the experts, ignore the morons (foreheads). We will get through this together." If this doesn't make you want to stay home, nothing will.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and coughing, call NHS 111 in the UK or visit the CDC website in the U.S. for up-to-date information and resources. You can find all Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here, and UK-specific updates on coronavirus here.