As countries including France, Spain and Italy continue to tighten quarantine measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic, things are moving a bit more slowly in the United States and Canada.
Amid reports of full restaurants and bars, celebrities including George Takei, Kumail Nanjiani, Jeffrey Wright, Padma Lakshi and Debra Messing became frustrated with the slow pace and asked followers to stop going out for anything except essentials. Social media campaigns including #StaytheFHome, #flattenthecurve, #stayhomesavelives and #shutdownnyc are attempting to spread the word about minimizing social contact.
China and other Asian countries were able to put strict lockdowns on their citizens to contain the virus, and all indications are that the measures are starting to show results as the number of cases starts to level off in China.
But despite President Donald Trump declaring a state of emergency on Friday and many large cities enacting bans on large gatherings, most restaurants and movie theaters remain open as the number of cases continues to grow in the U.S. A lack of clear direction from the government, hesitancy to cut off millions of peoples’ incomes and uneven levels of urgency among Americans has made the idea of a nationwide quarantine much more difficult to contemplate.
“We should stay home to the fullest extent possible,” Barack Obama tweeted.
Watch this. It shows why we should all do the right thing and stay home to the fullest extent possible. All of us can help slow the spread of the virus, protecting the elderly, the vulnerable, and each other. https://t.co/FgffQrMVB7
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 15, 2020
Perhaps the cutest appeal to stay home came from Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is cocooning with his pet donkey and pony.
Stay at home as much as possible. Listen to the experts, ignore the morons (foreheads). We will get through this together. pic.twitter.com/FRg41QehuB
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) March 16, 2020
Nanjiani urged followers not to pack restaurants and bars.
I know this is a weird time, & difficult for many ppl who have jobs in the service industry, but consider not packing bars/restaurants right now. This, right now, is what you can do to stem the spread. Hospitals will get overwhelmed in mere weeks. We can #flattenthecurve.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) March 14, 2020
Ariana Grande has been vocal on Twitter about people staying home.
like your hip hop yoga class can fucking wait i promise
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) March 15, 2020
Taylor Swift warned her followers to isolate themselves via her Instagram story Sunday afternoon.
“I’m seeing lots of get-togethers and hangs and parties still happening. This is the time to cancel plans, actually truly isolate as much as you can and 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. It’s a really scary time, but we need to make sacrifices right now,” she wrote.
Padma Lakshi asked people to self-quarantine.
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) March 15, 2020
Takei begged followers, “Stay home.”
This video is chilling. You'll understand what you're looking at, even if you don't speak Italian. Please everyone. Help us prevent this in American cities. Stay home. #FlattenTheCurve https://t.co/pdXDBGzhj0
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) March 14, 2020
Here are more notable figures who are calling for staying home to stop the spread of coronavirus.
“Parks and Recreation” co-creator Michael Schur, who goes by @KenTremendous on Twitter, asked for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to be shut down.
Everyone with any power and any connection at all to Irish culture needs to call for all St. Patrick's celebrations to be shut down. Catholic leaders, Irish government, the Pope, Alec Baldwin, Saoirse Ronan, Oscar Wilde, Michael Collins, Bram Stoker, EVERYONE.
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) March 15, 2020
— Please wear a mask! Do it for the World please… (@chefjoseandres) March 15, 2020
FYI. Paris Wednesday evening was TEEMING with people as though business as usual. ALL bars, restaurants, clubs etc in France shut down as of last night. #ShutDownNYC? Hell yes. https://t.co/vLjIhWqYnm
— Jeffrey Vote Out This Gameshow Clown Wright (@jfreewright) March 15, 2020
— Pamela Adlon (@pamelaadlon) March 15, 2020
Tim Federle, creator of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” called on mayors to limit non-essential spaces.
Mayors across America, be heroes and please close nonessential spaces…like, now. #FlattenTheCurve
— Tim Federle (@TimFederle) March 15, 2020
Debra Messing shared a sobering thread from attorney and pulmonary embolism survivor Susan Henessey with the hashtag #socialdistancing.
— Debra Messing✍🏻 (@DebraMessing) March 15, 2020
— Jennifer Esposito (@JennifersWayJE) March 15, 2020
Trying to decide how seriously to take Social Distancing?
Thinking you're probably one of the 80% so no biggie?
Take 5 minutes to read through the #HighRiskCovid19 tag.
And then #StayHome. https://t.co/QFha3Ssjfm
— Julie VOTE EARLY Cohen (@FilmmakerJulie) March 15, 2020