And while many younger Americans still appear carefree in their approach to the increasingly threatening pandemic — venturing to Red Robin or Clearwater Beach, Fla., with reckless abandon — the comedy great's 47-year-old son, Max, teamed with his father to demonstrate why everyone should practice social distancing in a social media video that went viral (a fitting term, if any, right now) on Monday.
"If I get the coronavirus, I'll probably be OK," said Max, an author best known for depicting outbreaks of a more fictitious kind with 2003's The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z (which was turned into the Brad Pitt film), while his father stands on the other side of glass door behind him, inside a house.
"But if I give it to him, he could give it to Carl Reiner, who could give it to Dick Van Dyke, and before I know it, I've wiped out a whole generation of comedic legends," continued Max. "When it comes to coronavirus, I have to think about who I can infect. And so should you."
Max then lays out several well-spread guidelines: practice social distancing, avoid crowds, wash your hands, keep six feet away from people — "and if you've got the option to stay home, just stay home. Do your part, don't be a spreader."
Of course, with a Mel Brooks production, you have to expect a punchline. The EGOT-winning Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and Spaceballs filmmaker then shoos away his son. "Go home, go!" Mel tells Max.
It's unknown if Mel is practicing self-quarantining, but with coronavirus infections numbers growing rapidly across the country and the disease particularly dangerous for the elderly, the father-son PSA is one of the most convincing (and entertaining) cases we've seen put forth for social distancing.
You may not be susceptible to the worst effects of the virus yourself, but it is your duty to protect the elderly.
For the latest news on the evolving coronavirus outbreak, follow along here. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC and WHO’s resource guides.
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