‘Big Brother’ Contestants In Germany Learned About The Coronavirus Outbreak On Live TV

While most of us have spent the past month constantly (and nervously) refreshing Twitter for every coronavirus update, there are others who are just learning about the pandemic, like this off-the-grid group in the Grand Canyon and the 14 contestants on Germany’s Big Brother. They weren’t informed about coronavirus until a live special that aired in Germany on Tuesday. The current season began on February 10, when the outbreak was still centered in China; there are currently 205,595 cases worldwide.

According to the New York Times, which provided a helpful translation of the clip above, Big Brother host Jochen Schropp “explained that ‘a disease called Covid-19 had spread across the world’ and ‘reached Europe.’ Contestants were then shown news clips of recent events, including footage of deserted streets in Italy and Germany. Most of the contestants watched in shocked silence. Several erupted into sobs.”

Wiping away tears, one contestant, identified as Michelle, 26, explained that because she works as a geriatric nurse, she was particularly worried about her patients. Another, who works as a bartender, expressed concern about what the virus might mean for the country’s economy.

After the show’s doctor Andreas Kaniewski broke the news about the pandemic, the cast watched recorded video messages from their family members and loved ones, including the partner of one contestant who instructed him to stay in the Big Brother house.

It’s “the best quarantine that exists,” he said.

(Via the New York Times)