One way to very effectively practice social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic: Go on a reality show that involves being sequestered inside a house for months. As Deutsche Welle reports, the contestants on Germany's Big Brother knew about the virus when they went into the house on Feb. 6, but at the time there were only a few confirmed cases in Bavaria. But in a special live show Tuesday night, the remaining 13 contestants will find out just how hard the outbreak has hit Germany—especially the western city of Cologne, one of the hardest-hit areas and where the house is located. Deadline reports Germany as a whole is one of the countries struggling most, with 7,588 confirmed cases and 17 deaths. The broadcaster says contestants, who will learn the news from the show's host as well as the show's doctor, will get video messages from family and will be able to ask questions.
The broadcaster also says strict hygiene measures have been taken to ensure contestants remain virus-free, and all have tested negative. Four new contestants recently entered the house but have so far been barred from discussing the virus; originally, contestants weren't to be told at all, but that decision changed as the outbreak got worse. Seven other Big Brother franchises are currently running in countries including Italy, which has banned new contestants from entering the house, delayed the finale, and no longer uses live audiences. Other countries' versions have already told contestants what's going on, including the Canadian version, in which all contestants chose to remain on the show. In similar news, Vulture reports Jared Leto recently emerged from a 12-day meditation retreat to learn just how much the world changed in that time. He called it "mind blowing." (Read more coronavirus stories.)