Will Smith and his family held an “emergency” episode of Red Table Talk to discuss the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Will gathered with wife Jada Pinkett Smith, 48, daughter Willow Smith, 19, Jada’s mother Adrienne Banfield Norris and his son Trey Smith, 27, to talk about the global health crisis and what families can do to protect themselves and others. Jaden Smith, 21, was not present because he is practicing social distancing out of concern for his grandmother.
Will, 51, joked that he feels responsible for some of the “misinformation” circulating online because of his 2007 movie I Am Legend, in which he plays a virologist who survives a man-made plague that turns humans into zombie-like mutants.
The fictional virus in I Am Legend was much more widespread that COVID-19 — but that doesn’t mean that the virus isn’t one to take seriously.
To illustrate the importance of social distancing, which can help slow the spread of COVID-19, Will posed a hypothetical scenario.
Jada and Will hold a special family Red Table Talk to get straight factual answers to their questions and yours about the Coronavirus pandemic.
Posted by Red Table Talk on Wednesday, March 18, 2020
“Imagine that our local hospital can handle 40 respiratory patients at one time. And under normal circumstances, 40 respiratory patients, for that hospital, is a lot. You know, they’ll be at 12 or 15, so they can handle it,” the actor said.
“The way the virus is moving and the reason why we need to practice social distancing and the idea of flattening the curve is if 50 people show up at that hospital at one time, to get 40 beds, right, now you have 10 people in critical condition that aren’t going to get help.”
“And your mortality rate shoots through the roof. That’s the idea of overwhelming the system,” Will continued. “So there is a certain amount of people that we can handle nationally to come in with critical respiratory issues at one moment.”
“So flattening the curve means not getting to 80 people at one time, we practice social distancing, the virus is going to move through humanity. But as it moves through, we want it to move through at 30 people at a time for our local hospital, not 60 people at a time for our local hospital, because then we have a real problem.”
As of Wednesday, there are now at least 5,881 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, with at least 107 of those people dying from a COVID-19 related illness.
The mysterious respiratory disease began in Wuhan, China, in late December. It has since spread worldwide, causing the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency. The last time the WHO did so was during the zika epidemic in 2016.