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Tom Hanks offers a Mr. Rogers-inspired coronavirus isolation update from Australia

Hannah Yasharoff USA TODAYPublished 6:48 AM EDT Mar 16, 2020Tom Hanks is channeling one of his iconic roles and looking on the bright side while he and wife Rita Wilson are in isolation with coronavirus.After announcing Wednesday that he and Wilson had been diagnosed with COVID-19 while in Australia as Hanks filmed Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis…

Hannah Yasharoff
USA TODAY

Published 6:48 AM EDT Mar 16, 2020

Tom Hanks is channeling one of his iconic roles and looking on the bright side while he and wife Rita Wilson are in isolation with coronavirus.

After announcing Wednesday that he and Wilson had been diagnosed with COVID-19 while in Australia as Hanks filmed Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley film (production has since been halted), he offered an Australia-themed photo update over the weekend, featuring a stuffed kangaroo holding an Australian flag, a tiny stuffed koala and two pieces of toast with enormous helpings of Vegemite. 

“Thanks to the Helpers. Let’s take care of ourselves and each other,” Hanks captioned the photo, sparking comparisons to a famous quote from Fred Rogers – whom Hanks played in the 2019 film “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” 

Rogers was frequently quoted sharing a story about his mother’s advice to help children watching his show learn to cope during distressing times. 

“When I was a little boy and something bad happened in the news, my mother would tell me to look for the helpers,” he once said on the show. “‘You’ll always find people helping,’ she’d say. And I found that that’s true. In fact, it’s one of the best things about our wonderful world.”

A previous update from the famous couple featured another reference to an iconic Hanks performance. 

In a post shared Thursday, Hanks thanked the Queensland hospital medical staff for taking “such good care of us” and made clear the isolation was necessary “so we do not spread it to anyone else.”

“There are those for whom it could lead to a very serious illness,” wrote Hanks. “There are things we can all do to get through this by following the advice of experts and taking care of ourselves and each other, no?”

He signed off with a version of his classic line from “A League of Their Own.”

“Remember, despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball,” wrote Hanks.

After Hanks first announced his and Wilson’s diagnoses, his longtime “Toy Story” co-star Tim Allen replied in character as Buzz Lightyear.

“Woody,” he wrote. “I should have made you two wear my space suits! You and Rita rest and get well!”

Contributing: Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY 

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