In the last week, the actor Robert Pattinson has been keeping fans informed about the Covid-19 pandemic as he continues to recover from the virus, which he contracted in March.
Pattinson, 33, who is based in the UK, wore a mask and protective gloves while filming a movie in Budapest in late February and early March, but he did not disclose that he had been infected with the virus. He reportedly returned to the UK on 12 March and was subsequently placed in isolation. He has since spent some time in a London hospital.
On 16 March, while still in hospital, Pattinson checked in with his fans on TikTok, the video sharing platform where he has 2.85 million followers. In his first video, the actor wore a mask and protective gear as he spoke about the pandemic. In addition to keeping fans informed about the pandemic, Pattinson also has used his celebrity to raise funds for NHS (the UK’s National Health System) and the British Red Cross in their fight against the pandemic. The London-born actor, who now lives in Scotland, has also donated to the World Health Organization’s Solidarity Response fund, which supports countries that are struggling against Covid-19. As of 24 March, Covid-19 cases had not yet reached Scotland, but there were still fears that the pandemic could cause more deaths there than in other parts of the UK. The actor has also urged people to stay indoors and limit their socialising to keep the pandemic at bay. He has cancelled all his public events and has instead worked from home to become “one with nature”, as he put it in a tweet.
While most people choose to wear masks to keep others at a distance during the pandemic, Pattinson has continued to don the masks even after his return to the public eye. In a recent interview with GQ, the actor said that he was not sure why he had started wearing them again but added that he had been inspired by Boris Johnson, who became the UK’s prime minister in July 2019. “He always wears [a mask], so I thought it was only fair that I followed suit,” Pattinson said.
The actor has been photographed wearing masks in several places around London, including Waterloo Bridge, where he was spotted on 11 March. He was also seen wearing a mask in Brighton on 13 March. On 17 March, he wore a mask while speaking at a press conference in London. Additionally, there are numerous reports that Covid-19 has re-emerged in the UK, with several new cases being diagnosed in recent days. This is likely to have contributed to Pattinson’s decision to wear a mask again. While most people choose to don masks to keep others at a distance during the pandemic, Pattinson has continued to don the masks even after his return to the public eye.
Continuing To Inspire
The actor’s decision to don a mask has not been taken solely out of concern for the public. In a recent interview with GQ, Pattinson said that he chose to wear masks because he did not want others to guess his whereabouts. The actor added that he did not want fans to see a picture of him without a mask on and confuse it with a picture from a different time or place, as there have been some reports that he has had a change of heart about the pandemic and does not think it is a good idea to hide from it. In a tweet on 18 March, Pattinson wrote, “I’m not proud of my actions in hiding, but better now than later when the mask comes off.” He also wrote, “I’ve always supported NHS workers. They deserve our respect and admiration, as they are the heroes of this epic struggle. They are truly saving lives every day.”
The attention that Pattinson has drawn due to his decision to wear a mask has not been negative, however. On 16 March, the actor was awarded the “Personality of the Year” prize at the British Comedy Awards, which is presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to comedy in the UK. The award was presented to Pattinson by Daniel Brand. “I just want to say how much it means to me to get this award and to have it go to someone who I’ve looked up to for so long, both as an actor and a person,” said Brand, in his acceptance speech. “I grew up in an immigrant family and I know what it’s like to feel a bit different, a bit insecure. I feel like I can relate to so much of what he’s said and done. It’s amazing.”
Pattinson’s decision to wear a mask has not only helped to keep him informed about the pandemic but has also had benefits for those around him. It has prevented other celebrities from unwittingly giving the virus to more people, as it is more difficult to transmit the disease if you are wearing a mask. In a recent GQ interview, Pattinson said that the Covid-19 pandemic had been a “wake-up call” and that he did not want to be “found out” anymore. “I feel like I’ve been very open about the fact that I’ve never been one to keep my private life private, and it’s led me to this point, where I feel like I can be very vulnerable,” he said. “I have a responsibility to say what’s going on, and I feel that if I don’t, who will? It makes me wonder if this is what the rest of my life is going to be like: staying indoors, scared of infecting others. I don’t want to live like that.”
The pandemic has also led to a renewed appreciation of nature, which is something that the Englishman has always had a passion for. While most people choose to do their bit to help keep the disease at bay by isolating themselves at home, Pattinson has taken a different approach and has embraced the opportunity to reconnect with nature.
Pattinson has spent time in wooded areas, hiking and exploring the great outdoors. He was even spotted swimming with sea turtles in Jamaica in February 2020. The Englishman has, on a number of occasions, taken to social media to show off the beauty of the British countryside. In a recent Instagram post, he wrote, “I miss being able to simply walk outside and feel the wind on my cheeks as I inhale the fragrance of the earth.” He has also shared several pictures of him meditating in a forest.
The actor’s newfound appreciation for nature has even led him to reconsider some of his recent film choices. In a recent interview with GQ, Pattinson admitted that he had not yet watched On Thin Ice, which is a documentary about the devastating effects of climate change on the Arctic Circle. The Englishman said that he had not yet seen the film because “it might be too much for me”. In the same interview, he also said that the idea of revisiting his past films to examine them through a climate change lens did not appeal to him. “I’ve made a conscious effort to not look back at my filmography too much,” he said. “I feel like that’s a trap. You start wondering, What was I thinking? Did I get that right? Did I really mean that? It’s better to look at what you’ve done now in retrospect and move on.”
Of course, not everyone will have taken the same approach to the Covid-19 pandemic as Pattinson, and some may still be wary of going public with their opinions on the epidemic. In the UK, Scotland has seen fewer cases of Covid-19 than other parts of the country but has also had one of the highest rates of infections. In mid-March, there were still fears that the pandemic would continue to claim more lives in Scotland than in other parts of the UK. While the country has managed to control the spread of the virus, strict guidelines and lockdowns were implemented to combat it. People in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, were only allowed to go outside for their lives essentials – and even then, they had to keep a certain distance from each other.
Pattinson has filmed multiple weddings and events in the Scottish capital and has shared videos of some of the city’s most iconic buildings, such as the Scott Monument and the Castle, which he explored in a recent Instagram post. While some may still be wary of going public with their opinions on the Covid-19 pandemic, as more and more celebrities come forward to share their experiences, opinions and ideas, it may also start to feel like a solo wedding happening every weekend. And that’s something to be thankful for.