Even with strict visitor regulations in place amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds found a way to surprise the children at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) earlier this week.
After being invited by Fern, SickKids’ therapeutic clown, 43-year-old Reynolds was able to visit children in the infirmary via Child Life programming — a daily call show broadcasted to each of the patients’ rooms — on Monday morning.
During the virtual visit, the Deadpool star engaged in a brief Q&A with some of his fans at the hospital. Not only did he give the kids an inside scoop on his mask used in the Marvel film franchise, but he showed off the actual life-sized Pikachu model used to make Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019).
Asked about his favourite film by a young girl named Ariel, Reynolds replied: “I have a few of them if that’s OK,” before highlighting Detective Pikachu.
On why he chose the popular kids’ film, the Vancouver-born actor said: “Partly because my kids love it. I have three daughters, and two of them are old enough now to watch it, and they love it so much.”
Reynolds also revealed his favourite food to another patient named Sarah.
“If I could just have a big, large, thin-crust pizza… that is my favourite food,” he said, adding that it would be his single choice for a “desert island” food.
A final caller by the name of Isla told the actor she had the opportunity to wear his “ugly Christmas sweater” — the one Reynolds wore to help raise over $300,000 for SickKids in the span of five days last January. The sweaters were replicated and sent around the hospital for children to wear.
SickKids says its Child Life programming was “designed to reduce stress and help patients cope with hospitalization.” With the success and effectiveness of Reynolds’ broadcast, further digital visits from celebrities are now being encouraged as the rapidly evolving novel coronavirus pandemic continues to grow.
You can watch Reynolds’ full call with some of the Hospital for Sick Children’s patients through the official SickKids Instagram page.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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