Matthew McConnaughey, the acclaimed actor who also recently became a professor at UT and co-owner of a professional soccer team, lent his voice talent for a new coronavirus-related public service announcement (PSA) released by Governor Abbott.
“Over 500,000 brave Texas hospital and EMS professionals are on the front line of the coronavirus, answering the call that requires them to leave their homes,” says McConnaughey, as a video montage of emergency health workers plays over the actor’s iconic voice.
“You can answer the call, too,” says McConnaughey, “by staying home if you can.”
The PSA was produced by Roy Spence, the co-founder of an Austin-based advertising firm.
McConaughey’s call for “social distancing” isn’t the first time that the actor has promoted the practice in a commercial.
He has also starred in a series of advertisements — not to be confused with its Saturday Night Live parody starring Jim Carrey — from the Lincoln Motor Company, wherein he drives off to isolated places with his luxury vehicle.
In the most recent installment, McConaughey goes off ice-fishing and camps out in a new 2020 Lincoln Aviator as he waits for the fish to bite. “Beats jigging in a shanty,” he says.
With the advent of spring marked by the blooming bluebonnets in Texas, there probably won’t be too much ice-fishing going on.
But as McConaughey says in the new PSA, making other efforts to stay home and away from others will still help stop the spread of the virus.
Aside from the PSA and Lincoln advertisements, McConaughey also posted another video on social media to encourage people amidst the coronavirus frenzy.
If we take the time in this crisis to practice “values of fairness, kindness, accountability, resilience, respect, courage,” says McConaughey, “— if we practice those things right now, when we get out of this, this virus, this time, might be the one time that brings us all together and unifies us, like we have not been in a long time.”
because every red light eventually turns green pic.twitter.com/x05GuITW4J
— Matthew McConaughey (@McConaughey) March 17, 2020
Just yesterday, Abbott issued an executive order instructing Texans to practice social distancing, limit social gatherings to under 10 people, close restaurants except for take-out or delivery, and prohibit unnecessary visits to nursing homes, and temporarily close schools.
“These are challenging times, but Texans are always prepared to respond to challenges,” said Abbott in a press release.
“I am grateful to all our medical professionals who are working on the front lines to limit the spread of COVID-19 and provide care to Texans in need. Now is the time for all of us to unite and do our part to protect public health in our communities. That’s why I urge all Texans to practice smart hygiene habits and social distancing — and if you can, just stay home.”
In addition to the PSA’s strong encouragement for people to stay home, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) also recommends the following practices:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.