The Worst Advice Celebs Are Giving About Coronavirus

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic spreading across the globe, the public and celebrities alike have been going to extreme lengths to avoid contracting the virus. Additionally, large public events like Coachella have been postponed, while the NBA recently suspended its season indefinitely to prevent large groups of people from gathering at games. 

Amid growing concerns about the pandemic, health officials are urging people to practice good hygiene and wash their hands, which are both seemingly key in helping to fight the virus. However, in addition to the official advice, coronavirus myths have been circulating, too. "[I'm] feeling everything that everyone out there is feeling: Confusion, stress," a worried Reese Witherspoon told USA Today. "I'm trying to look for the most scientific facts and not listen to too much opinion. I feel flooded by opinion."

While most celebrities are staying in their lane when it comes to dishing out pearls of wisdom about the virus, some have felt the need to be very vocal about what to do — even when they really shouldn't. British doctor and television presenter Dr. Ranj Singh told his followers on Twitter, "The media are really not helping the #coronavirus situation. Don't take advice from TV presenters or celebrities on what to believe or do. Experts are there for a reason." 

It's clear that not everyone is following Dr. Singh's advice. Let's take a look at the worst advice celebs are giving about the coronavirus.

Non-infected celebs are buying masks, leading to shortages

Considering the fact that images of people wearing face masks have pretty much become synonymous with the coronavirus outbreak, it's easy to hop on the bandwagon and begin wearing them without looking into how the virus spreads in the first place.

According to Eric Toner, a scientist at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, while there's "little harm" in wearing a mask, "it's not likely to be very effective in preventing [coronavirus]" (via Business Insider). So, what's the issue with just donning a mask? Well, there's a global shortage of face masks for those who do need it. Business Insider notes that a lot of official Amazon retailers are sold out, which has led to counterfeit masks being distributed. The outlet reports that "resellers on Facebook are charging up to four times the price and also selling fraudulent masks."

While it might be tempting to follow the current celeb trend of donning a face mask for a self-quarantine selfie ( à la Gwyneth Paltrow, Bella Hadid, and Kate Hudson), perhaps it's time to reconsider.

A grapefruit a day does not keep the coronavirus away

Emmy Award-winning television host Raúl De Molina has been quite active regarding coronavirus updates on his social media channels — even if they don't really carry much weight. 

Hopping on the mask-wearing bandwagon, De Molina took to Instagram to share a snap of him and his wife, which showed the pair wearing face masks and kissing at the airport. "Returning from #losangeles @americanair better safe than sick," he wrote, adding the following bit of wisdom: "get informed." As noted above, wearing a mask when you're not infected with COVID-19 isn't necessary, so perhaps the Emmy winner should consider taking his own advice.

De Molina's Instagram post wasn't the only time he spoke out about the coronavirus outbreak. On Jan. 30, 2020, the star tweeted out a Daily Mail article with the caption, "A grapefruit a day keeps the coronavirus away!" While the link is to a report showing desperate people in China donning hollowed-out fruits as masks during the global shortage, it's still not exactly the greatest tip to follow. Stay informed, Raul.

O.J. Simpson didn't get the 'stay calm' memo

Along with perfectly healthy people wearing face masks, another coronavirus-related issue is the amount of people who are hoarding groceries and home supplies. By now, we've all seen videos of panicked individuals fighting over toilet paper and masses of people scrambling to buy what they need. According to CNBC, it's even led to some grocers limiting the number of food people can buy and urging shoppers to stop hoarding. As the article notes, "The panic buying has challenged grocery stores' supply chains, as shelves are cleared more quickly than usual and workers must race to keep up."

One individual who didn't get the "stop stockpiling toilet paper" memo? O.J. Simpson. Taking to Twitter, the former football star posted a photo of himself walking out of Costco with a full trolley of supplies, including two 30-packs of toilet paper, multiple packs of bottled water, paper cups, and paper towels. He captioned the photo with, "Coronavirus? Who's afraid?"

While some users responded to Simpson's tweet with reminders that there are less-fortunate people who now cannot buy what they need because shelves are empty, others took a more comedic approach, including one user, who quipped, "Good grief, Juice. It's coronavirus. Not dysentery. You having some stomach problems?"

Learn from Rudy Gobert's mistakes

In March 2020, NBA player Rudy Gobert made what many outlets called a "potentially-deadly joke" when, at the end of a press conference, he got up and touched every microphone and voice recorder in front of him as a coronavirus joke. "That video of Gobert — who's earning $23 million this season — purposefully coughing on the microphones of young journalists and beat reporters is so infuriating," tweeted out journalist John Solano.

While what Gobert did isn't exactly advice, it's definitely a lesson in what NOT to do, as only a few days later, the Utah Jazz player tested positive for the virus. "I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of concern and support over the last 24 hours," Gobert wrote on Instagram after the announcement. " I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis...mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment. The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse." Even though the damage was already done regarding Gobert's "prank," the NBA player has set out to somewhat mitigate the damage by "donating $500,000 to assist people affected by the virus and related closures," per CNN

All that to say, even though celebrities are inclined to give their two cents about the coronavirus, it's probably best to leave things to the professionals.