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Gwyneth Paltrow cracks a coronavirus joke: ‘I’ve already been in this movie’

5 min read

Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson are among those locking it down in the air when it comes to the coronavirus. At least they think they are.

“En route to Paris. Paranoid? Prudent? Panicked? Placid? Pandemic? Propaganda? Paltrow’s just going to go ahead and sleep with this thing on the plane,” the Goop founder said on Instagram, where she posted a picture of herself on a flight wearing an appropriately stylish Airinum+Nemen mask.

“I’ve already been in this movie,” she said.

“Stay safe. Don’t shake hands. Wash hands frequently.”

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Paltrow was joking about her role in Contagion, the 2011 Steven Soderbergh film where she played a Midwestern woman who stops for a fling on her way from a business trip in Hong Kong, only to die soon after she gets home, much to movie-husband Matt Damon’s dismay.

Her patient-zero affliction quickly turns into a global pandemic.

Hudson, meanwhile, posted a shot of herself in what appears to be a surgical mask, tagging her picture with the caption: “Travel. 2020.”

Commenters were quick to note that her mask wouldn’t do much good when it came to protecting her from coronavirus. Frequent soap-and-water hand-washing, experts say, is a better preventative measure.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the role of such face masks is “patient source control”, to prevent contamination of the surrounding area when a person who has contracted the virus coughs or sneezes.

Paltrow’s mask, however, was the equivalent of an N95-filtering facepiece respirator, the medical version of which, the CDC says, is recommended for healthcare professionals and could wind up in short supply in a pandemic.

Gwyneth Paltrow played patient zero of a viral epidemic in "Contagion."

Claudette Barius/WARNER BROS

Gwyneth Paltrow played patient zero of a viral epidemic in “Contagion.”

​Paltrow’s reusable, US$99 (NZ$157) limited edition Urban Air Mask 2.0 is currently sold out, along with everything else on the Airinum website, but the company has a wait list going.

According to its maker, the mask “combines Scandinavian minimalist design with Italian textile and dyeing research”, neither of which has anything to do with virus transmission.

(Incidentally, the respirator appears to match the actress’ eye mask, which might be the same black silk one that’s available on the Goop website for US$50.)

More seriously, the CDC has chimed in via Instagram as well.

“While #CDC considers #COVID19 a serious situation and is taking preparedness measures, the immediate health risk in the US is thought to be low, based on what we know,” the government agency said.

“Everyone should always take simple daily precautions to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses. Learn more at www.cdc.gov.”

– Los Angeles Times

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