Look: As a species, we make a lot of jokes about Tom Hanks’ role as humanity’s international, widely beloved Movie Dad—to the point where, when something unsettling happens to him, those parasocial bonds can lead to some very real emotional effects. And yet we were still kind of taken off-guard by the “Aw, dad!” feelings Hanks (Hanx) managed to evoke in us tonight, when he posted an update on his and Rita Wilson’s infection with the COVID-19 coronavirus, managing to toss a weirdly heartwarming reference to one of his old movies in to catch us all right there at the end.
It’s actually been a weirdly full 24 hours for the entire Hanks spectrum, with sons Colin and Chet both bringing their special talents—measured good grace and shirtlessness, respectively—to reports on their parents’ health, and Tom himself tweeting periodic updates about his and Wilson’s treatments, which seems to be going very well. (Meanwhile, a widely disseminated satirical story about Australian medical officials giving Hanks a volleyball to spend time with during his isolation appears to have bypassed the clearly compromised bullshit filters of a number of internet denizens.) Tonight’s update from the man himself remains calm and optimistic, before ending with this solemn reminder: “Remember, despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball.” (“Hanx.”) We might all be in the process of social distancing ourselves, but there’s something about Movie Dad cracking one of his little Movie Dad jokes to make us feel a little social closer, if only for a little bit.
Aw, hell, here ya go: