Federer makes desperate plea amid pandemic
Tennis superstar Roger Federer has pleaded for the Swiss community to take serious action to combat the coronavirus outbreak in a heartfelt video message.
Federer is recovering from knee surgery he undertook in February and is currently residing in the Swiss mountains with his family.
The 38-year-old is planning a return to professional tennis in June, undoubtedly targeting another Wimbledon campaign.
However, Federer probably won't miss much during his recovery, multiple international events postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Indian Wells - widely renowned as the fifth Grand Slam - was called off, while the French Open was recently pushed back to September.
Although no ATP of WTA tennis player has tested positive for the virus, it is unknown when order will be restored.
The coronavirus has been particularly harmful in Switzerland - the death toll rose to 43 on Friday and hospitals are reportedly approaching capacity.
Amid the global health crisis, Federer posted a video message to his Instagram on Saturday, begging his followers to stay at home and abide by the recommended social distancing requirements.
"I'm also staying home, and I haven't been shaking anybody's hands for quite some time now," Federer said.
"I wash my hands very frequently as we're supposed to. I believe helping each other is more important now than ever, especially because we want to help the older generation.
"They're the ones at highest risk, and we need to help them by keeping a distance of two metres and not shake hands.
"It's really important to take these rules seriously. Very very seriously.
"Eventually, we could all be in quarantine and not be able to leave the house anymore, so I really hope all of us take it very seriously."
The 20-time Grand Slam singles champion boasts 7.4 million followers on the social media site.
American tennis star Serena Williams also shared a video regarding the coronavirus outbreak, discussing the impact isolation has had on her family.
In a series of Instagram stories where she donned a variety of bizarre tutus, the 23-time Grand Slam champion discussed the anxiety she has experienced since closing herself off from the rest of the world.
"It started out with me feeling like, 'Oh, it can't really affect me.' And then suddenly, Indian Wells was cancelled," Williams said.
"I was like, 'Oh, OK, that's weird, but I have a little time off, and I'm gonna enjoy that time off.' And that one cancellation led to another and led to another and then led to all this anxiety I'm feeling.
"I've been social distancing for actually a really long time, for probably, like, two weeks now. But every little thing makes me really crazy.
"And by anxiety, I mean, like, I'm just on edge any time anyone sneezes around me or coughs I get crazy. And I don't hang out with anyone.
"When I say anyone, I mean my daughter. She coughed, and I got angry. I gave her a side-eye. I gave her that 'angry Serena,' and then I got sad.
"I was like, 'Is she OK? Is there something wrong with my daughter? Like, is there anything I can do?' And I just don't know what to do.
"Instead of being relaxed, I'm really under a ton of stress."
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I’ve been staying at home and practicing social distancing. I want to make sure I’m doing my part during these uncertain times. Your actions matter and to #stayhome is one thing we can do to flatten the curve. Thank you @voguemagazine and Anna for raising awareness to make sure we take care of one another, even if it’s from your couch. And thank you to all who are out there taking care of us outside of your own home.
Originally published as Federer's desperate plea amid pandemic