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Josh Gad is hoping to brighten some days amid the growing fear and ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
On Friday, the comedian and actor — best known for voicing the beloved snowman Olaf in the Frozen films — livestreamed on Twitter to comfort his followers and their children by reading one of his favorite children’s books.
“Since we’re all stuck at home right now I figured we would have a little fun together, so I’m going to see how this goes, but I decided I’m gonna read to your and your children or just you, depending on what you prefer,” Gad said. “I’m not gonna pass judgment right now since the world is a little bit of a hot mess.”
“But I thought tonight, we would start with one of my favorite books about one of my favorite places that none of us can really go to, a little place called Venice, in Italy,” the father of two added, introducing Ian Falconer’s children’s book Olivia Goes to Venice. The book is part of the author’s Olivia series, which is written for kids under the age of 7.
Gad went on to read the book, hilariously changing his voice for each character. “All right kids, that’s the first book of this little experiment. Let me know if you like this and if you enjoyed it and if this was helpful,” he said when the book reached its end.
“I’ll try to provide at least 10 minutes of daycare to you and your families a night while we’re going through this unprecedented global event,” he promised. “I love you all. I hope you’re all healthy and safe, wherever you are and hopefully I will see you all very soon. Take care.”
Several of Gad’s fans and followers sent messages of appreciation for the act of kindness. One even shared a sweet video of his three children thanking Gad for the story.
Earlier this week, The Wedding Ringer star also shared a hilarious video of himself dancing to provide some comic relief to his fans.
“I was never going to share this, but something tells me the world needs it now more than ever,” he captioned the video. “I hope it brings you peace.”
In the footage, the actor wears a long wig and beard while dancing along to Michael Sembello’s “She’s a Maniac.”
One fan responded to the video, telling the actor that it had really cheered her up amid the pandemic, revealing she was considered at-risk.
“I won’t lie. I’ve been crying on and off all night because I’m an at-risk person and this whole thing is terrifying, and this video made me feel a whole lot better,” the fan wrote.
Gad responded, writing, “You’re going to be ok. Take precautions and be safe. Sending you lots of love. Wipe those tears and know we’re in this together.”
As of Saturday afternoon, March 14, there have been at least 2,443 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 50 deaths within the United States, according to a New York Times database.
The global estimate is at 154,219 with a total death toll of 5,789. Of the confirmed cases, 72,587 people have recovered from the virus.
Those most at risk of severe illness from the virus include people over the age of 60, especially with pre-existing medical conditions, as well as the immunocompromised.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention urges people to wash their hands, avoid close contact with people who are sick or at-risk and to stay home if they are feeling unwell to help contain the spread.
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