As the outbreak of COVID-19 continues to spread, the rest of the world beyond China has been forced to reckon with the virus.
That spread yielded some unexpected victims, including America’s collective father Tom Hanks, and the entirety of the 2020 NBA season.
Hanks posted a warm message to his supporters alongside a photo of a medical glove, a nod to his habit of posting lone gloves on Instagram.
View this post on InstagramA post shared by Tom Hanks (@tomhanks)
A post shared by Tom Hanks (@tomhanks)
Hanks’ son Chet also confirmed in an Instagram video that both his father and mother Rita Wilson had been diagnosed, but did not have severe symptoms.
Immediately, comments poured in expressing sympathy for the couple and wishing them a speedy recovery on Weibo, China’s Twitter.
User 三点三横一竖202002 commented in a thread, “I hope they can recover soon. I hope that all patients around the world will recover soon.”
“I hope everyone can overcome this obstacle, just like Gump!” Sina Sports wrote in their post about the news.
Elsewhere, another major blow landed as Utah Jazz players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday.
Immediately after Gobert was diagnosed, the NBA announced that it would suspend the remainder of the season. The loss of box office sales is projected to cost the NBA over $1 billion dollars. Currently, all teams who have recently played the Jazz, as well as all teammates, officials, and referees, are being monitored for infection.
#MitchellTestsPositiveForCoronavirus shot to the top of Weibo’s trending list. So far, the hashtag has 846.7 million hits.
Image credit to Weibo user MUHO幕后篮球
The top-voted stories discuss Gobert’s nonchalant attitude towards the virus, continuing to touch his teammates despite feeling ill. Gobert can be seen in a press conference jokingly sweeping his hands on the microphones in front of him.
Netizens are reacting with humor and disbelief, warning people that the virus is not to be taken lightly.
In a highly-upvoted comment, 柯基汉堡 writes: “Gobert is really evil ?…now Mitchell is done for.”
On the subject of the NBA suspension, user 楚萍微客 commented, “A lot of people’s wallets are shrinking. But there’s nothing to do about it — the pandemic is coming, and health is more important than competition.”
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