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Actor Ryan Reynolds releases warning of COVID-19 dangers after Premier's plea


VANCOUVER — Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds has responded to a plea from British Columbia Premier John Horgan for help with messaging to younger residents about partying during the pandemic.

Reynolds posted a video to Twitter, framed as a phone call to Horgan, saying young people shouldn't look to him for medical advice, unless it was related to plastic surgery. He then joked that a lot of people didn't know that he was once actor Hugh Jackman.

He warned younger B.C. residents of the dangers posed by COVID-19, highlighting the impact the virus can have.

"Young folks in B.C., they're partying which is of course dangerous. They probably don't know that thousands of young people aren't just getting sick of coronavirus, they're dying of it too," he said in the recording.

He said it's also dangerous for the most vulnerable in B.C., home to some of the coolest older people on Earth, including David Suzuki and his own mother.

"Here's the thing: I hope that young people in B.C. don't kill my Mom, frankly, or David Suzuki or each other," Reynolds said. "Let's not kill anyone, I think that's reasonable."

Horgan had called on Reynolds and fellow actor Seth Rogen for help in crafting messages for younger residents, who the provincial health officer has said make up a disproportionate amount of the current COVID-19 cases.

"His humour is unparalleled," said Horgan on Friday. "But underlying that humour was a very serious message. We want to reach out to those who are not hearing the message, either from our daily briefings or from news coverage, and speaking to that group of people saying 'think about your mom, think about Ryan's mom, think about David Suzuki and all of the elders in our community.' "

Horgan said the government is reaching out to social media influencers, whom younger generations may be more familiar with, as well other celebrities such as Michael Buble.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday that people between the ages of 20 and 29 now make up the group seeing the largest increase of infections.

But she warned against demonizing all young people, adding that many are following public health guidelines.

Health Minister Adrian Dix also called on those planning on hosting large events this weekend to expect a visit from bylaw officers to ensure the 50-person limits are being followed.

"I have to say this, if you're thinking of organizing a party — especially one involving alcohol, where there's no specific limits on distancing that you're putting in place — you should not do so."

British Columbia has seen a rise in cases over the past week, reporting 85 and 78 new cases on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

The provincial government announced on Wednesday that 500 health-care professionals would be hired to help public health officials in contact tracing efforts.

This report was first published by The Canadian Press on Aug. 14, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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