Celebrities Doing Good During the Pandemic
Not everyone is hoarding toilet paper and canned beans.
If there’s any silver lining to life in the age of COVID-19, it’s seeing people and communities come together and step to the challenges ahead. Even before stricter mandates were put into place, many of us office workers had the luxury of being able to work remotely from the comfort of our beds and couches. Sure, this poses some problems as well, but lower back pain and lack of motivation is hard to compare to what the people on the front lines, those working in restaurants, grocery stores, are facing. They’re being put in direct risk, exposing themselves to the virus so that we can eat, and in the case of restaurant employees, getting hours cut, not making as much in tips, and living in uncertainty, unsure of whether they’ll be able to cover rent. There are many others who are also in tough places around the world, but fortunately, those with more means are spreading them. Here are some of the celebrities going good.
Thanks to the tireless work of healthcare employees in China, people are starting to go back to work and the death toll has slowed drastically. The country was hit especially hard, being the origin of the outbreak. Bieber spoke to his fans in a clip and held up a photo of his donation confirmation to Beijing Chunmiao Children Aid Foundation.
Billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced that he’s reimbursing all his employees who eat lunch at locally owned, independent restaurants amid the coronavirus outbreak on Twitter. “We in! Just sent the email for Mavs and my companies. Anyone who buys from small local, independent (sorry big company owned chains), will get reimbursed for their lunch and coffee/teas. We will start with this week and go from there,” Cuban wrote.
Funded through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the donation program –– dubbed the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator –– is a whopping $50 million to be dispersed to 12 pharmaceutical companies and biotech firms which are actively looking to find an effective vaccine against the coronavirus. But that donation comes with a crucial caveat: the successful company or companies must make the vaccine affordable and accessible to even the world’s poorest regions.
The Oscar-winning Parasite film director Bong Joon-ho and BTS member Suga have donated more than $164,000 towards coronavirus disaster relief efforts as the country battles the ongoing outbreak in South Korea. Both men were born in Daegu, the current epicenter of the virus in the country.
In the wake of the NBA season being cancelled, thousands of arena employees were left without a job. Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers was the first player to commit to help his home team staff, offering $100,000 of support. “Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. And the fear and anxiety resulting from the recent outbreak of COVID-19 can be extremely overwhelming,” Love wrote in a post on Instagram. “Pandemics are not just a medical phenomenon. … It’s important to know that those with a mental illness may be vulnerable to the effects of widespread panic and threat,” wrote Love, who suffered from a panic attack during a game in 2017. “Be kind to one another. Be understanding of their fears, regardless if you don’t feel the same. Be safe and make informed decisions during this time.”
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and other Silicon Valley figures have launched a $5.5 million emergency COVID-19 food bank fund alongside a local food bank. The social media executive and her fiance, Tom Bernthal, are among a handful of local billionaires teaming up on the COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Feeding Families, which will operate through Second Harvest of Silicon Valley.
Versace donated just short of $143,500 USD to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation to restock urgent medical supplies. “My heart goes out to those affected by the Coronavirus and their families,” says Versace Chief Creative Officer, Donatella Versace. “Versace is donating ¥1 million RMB to help with the relief effort. We are sending our love and support, and I urge everyone to help by donating to groups on the ground that assist those in need.”
Following in Love’s footsteps, the New Orleans Pelicans rookie pledged to cover the salaries of all Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days, the initial length of the NBA shutdown for coronavirus. Williamson made the announcement via Instagram, citing values his mother instilled in him growing up and pointing out many people in the area still haven’t recovered from losses suffered during Hurricane Katrina.
Kasia Pawlowska loves words. A native of Poland, Kasia moved to the States when she was seven. The San Francisco State University creative writing graduate went on to write for publications like the San Francisco Bay Guardian and KQED Arts among others prior to joining the Marin Magazine staff. Topics Kasia has covered include travel, trends, mushroom hunting, an award-winning series on social media addiction, and loads of other random things. When she’s not busy blogging or researching and writing articles, she’s either at home writing postcards and reading or going to shows. Recently, Kasia has been trying to branch out and diversify, ie: use different emojis. Her quest for the perfect chip is a never-ending endeavor.