Celebrities During The Pandemic: Coronavirus Steals the Spotlight

by Ava Andrews

Earlier this week, my friend remarked to me (over the phone, of course) how the coronavirus has proven that celebrities really are just people like you and me. Now that everyone must stay locked down in quarantine, most are going through (relatively) the same experiences. The performances or catwalks these celebrities have gained notoriety on have been stripped away, the stage being leveled to remind us we are all just humans going through a frightening time together. However, some celebrities have chosen to use their voices and platforms for good: starting talk shows, modifying performances for their homes, and starting social media campaigns. Here are some especially noteworthy efforts some people we all know have taken to combat the virus.

Madonna and her foundation, Madonna’s Ray of Light, has teamed up with REFORM alliance to donate 100,000 surgical masks to jails and prisons (namely the Cook County Jail, the Illinois Department of Corrections, Louisiana Department of Corrections, Vacaville Prison in California, FCI Ray Brook in New York, and Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department in Massachusetts).

Cardi B has teamed up with the clothing brand, Fashion Nova, to donate $1,000 an hour (until they reach $1 million) to those struggling to pay their bills. Contestants must visit Fashion Nova Cares and submit a personal story about why they should receive the money.

Halsey donated 1,000 facemasks to three different Southern-California based healthcare institutions: Providence Saint Joseph, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, LAC+USC Medical Center, and Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital. She promised on her Instagram to, “continue the fight to help you [healthcare workers] get the support and resources you need.”

Elton John’s AIDS Foundation (EJAF) has added a $1 million emergency coronavirus relief fund to “respond to the effects of COVID-19 on HIV care for the most marginalized communities around the world.” The Foundation aims to help frontline partners prepare and respond to the pandemic and its effects on HIV prevention and care for minorities. 

Miley Cyrus has started an Instagram live stream and YouTube show called “Bright Minded,” where she invites other celebrity guests to discuss how they are dealing with quarantine and provide advice and solace to her fans. She also teamed up with Cody Simpson to provide a hundred and twenty tacos to their local hospital as a big thank-you.

Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation donated $5 million to foundations such as the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, Partners In Health, Direct Relief, Feeding America, the International Rescue Committee, and many more underserved communities ranging from the US to Malawi. 

Shawn Mendes’s Foundation has donated $175,000 to The Hospital for Sick Kids in Canada to provide them with emergency relief equipment and medical resources. He also stated that all of the Foundation’s funds accumulated this month will be donated to the hospital. 

These are a few of the many celebrities during the pandemic who have chosen to wield their influence to inflict change. Countless others have hosted virtual concerts and donated large sums of money to various food and health providers across the country. In these times of uncertainty and danger, it’s comforting and important to highlight the small positives where people are working to help the real stars, the healthcare workers on the frontlines. We must continue to maintain some sort of human connection while we push through this pandemic together, but apart.