Feel Good Friday: How Stars Are Spreading Positivity During Coronavirus Pandemic

1:15 PM 4/3/2020

by Katherine Schaffstall

See how John Krasinski, Lizzo, Dolly Parton and more have been helping those in need and providing entertainment amid the global crisis.

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Hollywood stars are trying to make the most of being quarantined.

While many people are stuck at home due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, a number of stars have utilized their platforms to help those in need and to provide accessible entertainment. From sharing supplies to creating YouTube series, Hollywood figures have gone to great lengths to help those in need.

This week, John Krasinski launched a YouTube show dedicated to sharing good news that happened during the previous week. In the first episode, the actor shared some good news that his fans sent to him on social media. Additionally, he interviewed his The Office co-star Steve Carell and a teenage cancer patient who received a heartfelt homecoming when she left the hospital after undergoing her final round of chemo.

Dolly Parton also turned to YouTube to create a new series, Goodnight With Dolly, which features the country singer reading children bedtime stories. The goal of the series is to provide "a welcome distraction during a time of unrest and also inspire a love of reading and books."

Meanwhile, J.K. Rowling launched the "Harry Potter at Home" hub. The online club offers a source of entertainment and a number of resources to help parents and children as they adjust to being quarantined.

Others stars who have made the most of the difficult time include James McAvoy and Lizzo, who have found ways to make generous donations to the people who have been the most affected by the pandemic. While McAvoy donated $340,000 to U.K. Health Service for Protective Gear, Lizzo donated food to a number of hospitals across the United States.

In the spirit of "Feel Good Friday," read on to see how Hollywood stars have been helping those in need and spreading positivity amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

  • John Krasinski Launches YouTube Show Dedicated to "Good News"

    John Krasinski kicked off this week's good deeds by introducing a new YouTube series called Some Good News.

    The actor explained that the show acts as a way to share "stories that have made you feel good this week or the things that just made you smile." The first episode included stories ranging from public cheers for health care workers around the world to a neighbor mowing another's lawn. One citizen left toilet paper and hand sanitizer on his porch for delivery personnel to take, while Krasinski shared a photo of a grandfather who met his grandson for the first time through a window to correctly practice social distancing.

    The episode also featured two interviews. Krasinski first spoke to his former The Office co-star Steve Carell to celebrate the show's 15th anniversary, followed by an interview with a 15-year-old girl named Coco. After finishing her final chemo treatment, Coco arrived home to find her neighbors lining the street as they cheered her on.

  • J.K. Rowling Creates "Harry Potter at Home" Hub

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    J.K. Rowling launched the "Harry Potter at Home" hub Wednesday. The online club offers a number of resources for parents and children amid the novel coronavirus crisis.

    In addition to offering helpful resources, the hub includes puzzles, videos and quizzes. The purpose is to entertain families during the pandemic as they are stuck at home. Additionally, the eBook version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is available on the hub. 

    "Parents, teachers and carers working to keep children amused and interested while we’re on lockdown might need a bit of magic," Rowling said on Twitter. 

    The author partnered with Audible, OverDrive, Bloomsbury, Pottermore Publishing and Scholastic to launch the hub.

  • James McAvoy Donates $340,000 to U.K. Health Service Campaign

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    James McAvoy donated $340,000 to help purchase equipment for health service staff who are treating coronavirus patients through the crowdfunding campaign Masks for Heroes.

    The campaign was set up by a group of U.K. doctors to raise money to buy personal protective equipment including masks, visors and gloves for NHS staff. The actor's donation helped push the total to 700,000 pounds ($868,000), which is more than three times the initiative's goal of 200,000 pounds ($247,000).

    McAvoy explained on Instagram why he chose to donate to the campaign. "We've all heard stories about doctors and nurses having to buy their own personal protective equipment from the Internet or DIY stores, and the products aren't good enough and frankly neither is that situation," he said in a video. "Not only does it put the doctors and nurses at risk of contracting COVID-19 themselves, but it puts them at a higher risk of passing it on to their patients, or their patients family and giving them COVID-19. This situation is truly urgent, and time is of the essence."

  • Dolly Parton Launches 'Goodnight With Dolly' Series

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    Dolly Parton launched the weekly series Goodnight With Dolly on Thursday. The series features the country singer reading children's books selected from her Imagination Library to an online audience at bedtime. The goal of the series is to provide "a welcome distraction during a time of unrest and also inspire a love of reading and books."

    "This is something I have been wanting to do for quite a while, but the timing never felt quite right. I think it is pretty clear that now is the time to share a story and to share some love," Parton said in a news release. "It is an honor for me to share the incredible talent of these authors and illustrators. They make us smile, they make us laugh, and they make us think."

    The first book to be read by Parton in the 10-week series was Watty Piper's The Little Engine That Could. Other books that will be read during future episodes include There's a Hole in the Log on the Bottom of the Lake by Loren Long; Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney; I Am a Rainbow by Parton; Pass It On by Sophy Henn; Stand Tall Molly Lou Mellon by Patty Lovell; Violet the Pilot by Steve Breen; Max & the Tag-Along Moon by Floyd Cooper; Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña; and Coat of Many Colors by Parton.

  • Lizzo Donates Meals to Medical Staffers

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    Lizzo showed her appreciation to medical staffers working to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic by donating lunches to several hospitals across the United States.

    The singer posted a montage video on Instagram that documented medical workers at the University of Washington Medicine Center Montlake Emergency Department, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and more posing with their delivered meals.

    The musician also donated meals to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, which is her hometown. "You guys are putting yourselves on the frontline, so because of that, I wanted to treat y'all to a meal," she said in the personalized video message that the hospital's Twitter account posted Monday. "Lunch on me! I love you guys. Thank you so much for being the heroes in this story."

    One employee at Henry Ford Hospital also took to Twitter to share a video of a meal sent by Lizzo.