Tom Hanks Made Covid-19 Seem More Real

Tom Hanks hosting SNL from his kitchen during COVID-19 pandemic
Artwork by Anthony Faust
Tom Hanks hosting SNL from his kitchen during COVID-19 pandemic

On March 12, 2020, one of the most beloved actors on the planet, Tom Hanks, announced that he and his wife, Rita Wilson, had been diagnosed with COVID-19. Hanks was in Australia doing pre-production for the new movie Elvis. The star couple contracted the disease at a time when Australia had only 120 confirmed cases.

Rita Wilson had performed at the Sydney Opera House the weekend before and did a media appearance on Monday. The couple was responsible and quarantined. By Wednesday, Hanks posted on Instagram:

“Well, now. What to do next? The Medical Officials have protocols that must be followed. We Hanks’ will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires. Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no? We’ll keep the world posted and updated. Take care of yourselves!- Hanx!”

Tom Hanks was the everyman of Hollywood. Movies like Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Saving Private Ryan and Apollo 13 made him universally loved.

The news spread quickly throughout the world, and it was hard to find someone who hadn’t heard of the couple’s diagnoses. For many people, a big-name celebrity testing positive for the disease made it seem more real, and highlighted the realities of COVID-19. For the next two weeks the couple kept the public updated on their status via social media. They encouraged others who had the symptoms to go get tested and be smart about self-quarantining.

In those two weeks, a lot of the world’s view of COVID-19 shifted and changed dramatically. By March 22, more than 335,000 people had contracted the virus and over 14,641 had died. Employers sent employees home and many found themselves in the same situation the high-profile couple had. Somehow, Tom and Rita established a protocol for what to do when you must stay home and wait out the disease. On that day, Tom and Rita were coming out of quarantine, he posted:

“This, too, shall pass. We can figure this out.”

"This book will make you laugh and feel ALL the feelings."

Five star rating

"One of the most delightful reads of this year! I highly recommend."

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"A great coffee table book. Easy to pick up read."

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"Great coffee table conversation starter."

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"Funny and fun to read. What a fun way to put the pandemic in perspective."

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About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

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