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The best news I heard this wayward week was that Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have the Corona virus. Talk about some comforting information in troubled times. And I sincerely mean that.

Tom Hanks Has Coronavirus

Wednesday night, I got the following text. “Tom Hanks, wife have virus”. If it had been sent from many people I know, I would have dismissed it as stupid. But, this text was from Saji Mathai, a very respected former Los Angeles Times copy editor whose life is devoted to accuracy.

I was numbed by the news. Tom Hanks and Rita have Corona? My neck radar tingled in the bad way when danger looms. It was the Rock Hudson moment, the Magic Johnson moment for the virus. If Tom Hanks could get it, then no one is safe. Gloom descend hard.

But, then, less than 30 minutes later, a strange feeling came to me. A feeling that made me kinda ashamed, even borderline cowardly, like that soldier cowering in the stairwell after the German slowly pushes the knife into the chest of the American in “Saving Private Ryan”. Well, maybe not that bad. Still, the feeling was this; I was glad Tom Hanks got the virus. If anyone - and I’m talking anyone on Earth - should get it, Tom Hanks is the ideal person.

I respect him so much and, most importantly in these times, I trust him completely. The guy exudes a nearly long gone quality of pure honesty, of being a good person.

Certainly not because I wish him and Rita harm, but the opposite. It was because I like him so much, I respect him so much and, most importantly in these times, I trust him completely. The guy exudes a nearly long gone quality of pure honesty, of being a good person. I’m not saying he’s the only one with those qualities. Hell, I even occasionally have them, but I am saying no one is better suited to play the role to lead us out of this uncertainty. To battle the uncharted seas, the mystery invasion.

In the small Tuscan village of Panzano in Chianti, my friend Kim Wicks, whose husband is the most famous butcher in Italy, Dario Cecchini – and who are quarantined there – was borderline thrilled to hear the news about Hanks. “In one fell swoop he has become the ambassador to de-stigmatized the whole thing. We can all watch him unveil the mystery. Because it is the unknown that freaks us all out and now, through Tom and Rita, we will go from uncertainty to some certainty. What a godsend.”

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Tom and Rita will be our war correspondents sending dispatches from the front line. Finally there’ll be tweets that the world will await. Tweets that will matter to the world.

This morning I saw a tweet and photo from Tom – with Rita looking fine as ever – and it finished with a spin on the classic line from “A League of Their Own”; “Remember, despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball.”

There’s no crying, but there’s a whole lotta rooting. And I’m thinking, in all of history of the entire world never has ever been more people rooting for two people to beat anything as much as they will be for Tom and Rita. There’s usually two sides to a fight. Either you want Ali or you want Frazier. Either you want Brazil or you want Argentina. Usually, as in war, there’s a bad guy, but the thing is, that bad guy thinks you’re the bad guy.

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No one thinks Tom Hanks is the bad guy. The health minister in Iran, the sharecropper in Alabama, the yak farmer in Tibet, the dock worker in the Ivory Coast, the brain surgeon in Kyoto, the nurse in Bogota, the line cook from Oaxaca at Pizzeria Mozza, the point guard for the Golden State Warriors, the immigrant from Albania who works in Copenhagen, the Mercedes Formula One driver from England, everyone - other than, of course, some people who want the end of the world - are rooting for Tom and Rita.

Three years and four months ago, the day after Trump was elected, I wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times urging people who said they were moving to Canada if he won to stay and fight. I wrote the piece because I stumbled onto watching “Saving Private Ryan” the day after the election and realized we, as a nation, had been through so much worse than having some buffoon in the White House. We had been through World War II and Capt. Miller (Hanks) was gonna save Private Ryan, come hell or high. In the movie, Capt. Miller does save Ryan, but dies on a bridge.

In this real life movie, the sequel to Saving Private Ryan, the role of Tom Hanks was born to play, the greatest role of his and Rita’s life, the ending will be different.

Democrats Honor Donald

Just as Tom Hanks ends his tweets, let me say “hanks”. Hanks a lot.

Michael Krikorian
Krikorian Writes