Entertainment

Ryan Reynolds, Shawn Mendes tweet #Plankthecurve videos after PM enlists celeb help in COVID-19 fight

Canadian celebrities including Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds and Superbad's Seth Rogen are asking people to stay home and prevent the spread of COVID-19 after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked for help to get the message across on social media.

'Let's spread the word, not the virus,' Reynolds posted on social media

Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds accepted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's challenge on social media to help spread the word about staying at home by posting his own video on Twitter Monday. (Getty Images for Museum of Modern Art)

Canadian celebrities including Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds and Señorita singer Shawn Mendes are asking people to stay home and prevent the spread of COVID-19 after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked for help to get the message across on social media.

"Let's spread the word, not the virus," wrote Reynolds in the video's caption on Twitter Monday.

He added in his signature deadpan humour: "In times of crisis, I think we all know it's the celebrities that we count on most."

Reynolds's video has been viewed more than 1.5 million times in less than 24 hours. While he kept the tone light, the underlying message is much more serious.

Canada's chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, warned the country last week that "we don't just need to flatten the curve, we need to plank it." Tam was referring to the need for ongoing physical distancing with the the rapidly growing number of COVID-19 cases in Canada and internationally.

Canada's Chief Public Health Officer says it will be clearer over the next two weeks how well Canadians social distancing practices help in limiting the spread of COVID-19. 1:40

Trudeau reiterated Tam's advice in a #plankthecurve tweet Monday, encouraging people to "stay home" and "help spread the word with your own video." He enlisted the help of Reynolds and B.C.-born singer Michael Bublé by tagging them in his message.

Bublé also responded in a tweet of his own: "Please, if you can, if at all possible, stay home. It will save lives."

The Home singer nominated fellow celebrity canucks Justin Bieber, Jann Arden and Edmonton Oilers hockey player Connor McDavid to post their own videos. Reynolds tagged Rogen in his, who also responded in his own video.

The list continues to grow, as well-known Canadians, including former Barenaked Ladies vocalist Steven Page, four-time Olympic hockey gold medallist Hayley Wickenheiser and pop star Shawn Mendes, post their own videos.

Mendes, who tagged Drake and Shania Twain in his tweet, has also donated $175,000 through his namesake foundation to help with the purchase of emergency equipment and supplies in preparation for COVID-19 at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.

The pleas come as the Canadian government is asking residents to stay home, avoid in-person group social activities and to practice proper physical distancing to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Several states in the U.S., including California and New York, have implemented "stay-at-home" orders to ensure people remain indoors, except for fulfilling essential needs such as buying groceries or attending medical appointments.

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