Lewis Hamilton has described those ignoring advice to stay at home and practice social distancing as “totally irresponsible and selfish” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The six-time Formula 1 World Champion is self-isolating after meeting two people earlier this month who later tested positive for coronavirus – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife Sophie Gregoire, and British actor Idris Elba. While Hamilton says he has no symptoms and is in good health, he has expressed his dismay at the reaction of some members of the public to government advice, with the United Kingdom seeing large numbers heading outside over the past weekend.
“I’m so sad to hear of the amount of deaths happening around the world,” Hamilton wrote on social media. “I know most of us are limited with the knowledge of why and how this has happened. There is nothing we can do about it either way except try to isolate ourselves, stop ourselves from catching it and spreading it.
“There are people out there still going to clubs and bars and large gatherings, which I personally feel is totally irresponsible and selfish. I’m praying for my family’s safety each day but I’m also praying for you out there. I’m praying for those working at the local stores, delivers, doctors and nurses who put their own health at risk to help others and keep the countries running. Those are the heroes. Please stay safe, people.”
Hamilton hopes the global situation will lead to a wider change in attitudes in terms of the way people live their lives and take care of their health in future.
“If you can, try and take this time to assess your life and situation and how you might want to change things for the better moving forwards,” he wrote.
“Hopefully through this people will realize even more how health is priceless, how you treat yourself and what you put in your body is so important, and also hygiene. We take this life for granted. I hope we don’t moving forwards.”
Hamilton has already used his vast social media reach to pass on official advice about hand washing, and his comments echo those made by the U.K.’s health secretary Matt Hancock, who described people who are ignoring government advice designed to tackle the pandemic as “very selfish”.