• Actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have been diagnosed with coronavirus. (Getty Images North America)Source: Getty Images North America
"Tom Hanks survived the Vietnam war, being a shrimp boat captain, somali pirates and being stranded on an island with a volleyball."
Samuel Leighton-Dore

12 Mar 2020 - 3:29 PM  UPDATED 12 Mar 2020 - 3:31 PM

"No, not Tom," a text message from a close friend read this morning.

"Anyone but Tom!"

Hours after President Donald Trump addressed the United States in an attempt to instil calm amidst the coronavirus pandemic, social media shifted into meltdown over the news that beloved Hollywood actor and everyone's dad Tom Hanks, along with his wife Rita Wilson, had contracted the virus.

It's believed that Hanks and Wilson caught COVID-19 while on the Gold Coast shooting Baz Luhrmann's Elvis biopic, which has now been put on hold.

"Hello, folks.  Rita and I are down here in Australia," Hanks wrote in a statement shared on social media.

"We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive."

The Oscar-winner continued: "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!"

For many, news of Hanks' diagnosis, along with the NBA postponing its season indefinitely, was a wake-up call.

"Tom Hanks survived the Vietnam war, being a shrimp boat captain, somali pirates and being stranded on an island with a volleyball," one fan tweeted, referring to the star's impressive IMDB profile.

They added: "This virus light work for my dawg God willing."

"115,000 Coronavirus cases worldwide," another Twitter user wrote.

"4,200 people killed and some Americans didn't think shit was real until Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, and the NBA were hit with it. Start using your own brain and stop waiting until celebrities are impacted to take things serious."

For others, the actor's diagnosis highlighted the potential under-reporting of cases in Australia.

"The nation of Australia has reported only 127 cases of coronavirus, and two of them (1.6%) are international superstar of cinema Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, also a very talented actor," Seth Abramson tweeted.

"What do you want to bet that more than 127 people in Australia have coronavirus?"

Still, most fans are optimistic that Hanks and Wilson have what it takes to overcome COVID-19.

"Tom Hanks survived years in quarantine," one fan tweeted, alongside a still image of Hanks in Cast Away.

"He'll be fine."

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