Tom Hanks says that he doesn't have "much respect" for people who don't wear masks
"Wear a mask, wash your hands, social distance."
You heard the man, everyone. Woody/Forrest Gump/Walt Disney has spoken and it's time to start wearing those masks if you haven't already.
If there's anyone who knows what it's like to be sick with Covid-19, it's Tom Hanks. He and his wife, Rita Wilson, caught the virus in March while they were in Gold Coast, Australia, filming for a new role. The two were pretty sick and even had to go to hospital. Luckily neither Hanks nor Wilson got bad enough to be moved to the ICU and both actors made a full recovery.
However, despite recovering from it fully himself, he recognises the danger of the virus and has spoken out about how we all need to work to beat it and that, "whether or not we like it, we're all in this together".
Speaking in a recent interview with Reuters, he said:
"At the very least, three tiny things [are] in everybody's wheelhouse, if you choose to do them. Wear a mask, wash your hands, social distance. If you can't do that, I don't have much respect for you."
Masks are starting to be worn more here in Ireland but there are still huge numbers of people walking around shops and other public spaces without a mask. The reason it is important to wear one is because Covid-19 can often manifest itself asymptomatically, meaning that you could be carrying and spreading it without feeling sick yourself at all. Even for those who do feel sick, they could be spreading it around in the days before they actually start to feel sick.
Wearing a mask doesn't just lower the chances of you getting the virus. Even more than that, it protects the people around you if you have somehow caught the virus without realising. To completely eradicate Covid-19, it's going to take a group effort.
In the US, however, the wearing of masks has become politicised. Not wearing a mask has been warped into an expression of freedom by many. So the push by celebrities and other public figures to wear masks there is even more crucial.
In an interview with NBC's Today Show, Tom Hanks said of wearing a mask:
"That alone means you are contributing to the betterment of your house, your work, your town, society as a whole. Let's not confuse the fact - it's killing people. You can argue what the numbers are... It's killing people."