In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Matthew McConaughey, the American actor, took time out of his weekend to visit a retirement home — digitally — and spend time with some of the self-isolating senior residents of his home state, Texas.
Along with his family, McConaughey, 50, called The Enclave at Round Rock Senior Living on Friday to host the community’s weekly bingo session, via Zoom.
The Round Rock, Texas-based residency reportedly reached out to the Insterstellar star last September in hopes of getting him to host a couple of games, according to NME.
McConaughey finally stepped up to the table on April 3 and devoted his time to 18 of the residents in light of the novel coronavirus, which has left many — seniors more notably — coping with boredom and loneliness.
“Thank you to Matthew, his wife Camila, and his mom Kay for hosting our residents for a few rounds of virtual bingo,” read a post shared by the Enclave at Round Rock Senior Living’s Facebook page following the game.
“Our residents had a great time playing and they loved talking with Matthew about his family heritage and his favourite drink,” they added.
In another post — which featured a short clip of the lively interaction between McConaughey and his senior fans — the residency wrote, “During a time when we are all working to make lemonade out of lemons, we are so humbled that Matthew took the time to play our favourite game with us.”
“As Matthew would say, let’s turn this red light into a green light,” they concluded, referring to a post made by the Oscar-winning actor back in March.
In the message, McConaughey said: “ fairness, kindness, accountability, resilience, respect, courage” and “make some lemonade out of this lemon that we’re in the middle of … so we can “turn this red light into a green light.”
On the entertainer’s virtual visit, Molly Nedley, sales director of the retirement home, told NME, “This was a wish come true.”
“The residents absolutely loved seeing Matthew and his family and enjoyed hearing him talk about what he’s doing to get through this crisis,” she added. “It gave them hope and was the boost that they needed to get through this lonely, challenging time.”
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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