Two Big Brother Houses Don’t Know About The Coronavirus Pandemic
As coronavirus continues to make its way around the globe, the contestants of two Big Brother series are completely unaware of its impact.
Those currently residing in the Big Brother houses in Germany and Canada have no idea of the situation in the outside world as they’ve been in isolation since before the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a pandemic.
As such, they are unaware of how many people currently have the virus and will be until they leave each house; until then, the production teams have banned them from receiving any information from outside.
In Germany, the group of contestants entered the house on February 6, at a time when there were only a few isolated cases of coronavirus in Bavaria. Each person tested negative for the virus upon their arrival.
Since then, they have not received any updated information about COVID-19. As of Sunday, March 15, there were 4,838 cases in Germany and 12 people had died as a result of the virus, the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases said.
Any new contestants who have joined the show since the original start date have been told not to reveal anything to those already in the house.
German broadcaster Sat.1 has defended its decision to keep the contestants in the dark, saying there are certain circumstances under which they would lift the ban on giving information – for example, if a contestant’s relative became ill.
Sat.1 told German publication Süddeutsche Zeitung:
Of course, the residents will be informed if there is reason to do so. Which information is given to the residents from outside is also decided in exchange with the relatives.
The contestants are currently residing in two houses in Ossendorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, one of the hardest-hit states in the country with regards to COVID-19. According to Sat.1, the show has implemented ‘special hygiene measures’ to protect the contestants from infection.
In Canada, the contestants entered the house a month later on March 4, again before WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
As of Sunday, March 15, there were 305 confirmed cases of the virus throughout the country and one person had died as a result. Although the number of cases is significantly lower than elsewhere across the world, mass gatherings have been cancelled to prevent the spread.
Last week, Global and Insight Productions released a statement confirming the show would be broadcasting without a studio audience as a precautionary measure for the foreseeable future.
The statement said, as per Entertainment Tonight Canada:
The health and safety of our staff, crew, house guests, and audience members are of the utmost importance and effective today, March 12, we have suspended audience members from attending live tapings of the show until further notice. We will continue to produce the show and monitor the situation closely.
Video footage of the contestants discussing why there was no audience to cheer out the first person who had been evicted, which went viral over the weekend, led many to believe they haven’t been made aware of this decision.
In the footage, they can be heard speculating about why they couldn’t hear the audience cheering (or booing), with one person asking: ‘unless the house is now soundproof?’ Another person then described it as ‘weird’, before one agreed with: ‘so strange’.
Viewers took to social media after the episode aired to share the footage:
Up until this weekend, contestants in the Big Brother Australia house also had no idea of the situation in the outside world. However, Endemol Shine Australia today confirmed they have been brought up to date on ‘the current situation’, as per news.com.au.
The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11, when all three shows were already well into filming.
It’s okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our coronavirus campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization on coronavirus, click here.
CreditsSüddeutsche Zeitung and 2 others
Entertainment Tonight Canada