Germans Competing On Big Brother Haven’t Been Told About COVID-19 Gravity

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Sat 1

It’s not uncommon for reality television contestants to be isolated from the outside world. In fact, on shows like The Bachelor, Big Brother, and The Real World, they want castmembers so removed that they take away their phones, papers, magazines, and don’t put a television or computer in the house.

On The Real World in 2001, they made an exception and brought in a television after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. But it looks like in Germany, the current Coronavirus pandemic does not qualify as a big enough emergency for an exception to the ‘no outside interference’ rule, so the contestants competing for the cash prize have no clue that Coronavirus is even a big deal for their family members and friends living outside of the Big Brother house.

The German contestants entered the Big Brother house on February 10th, just over a month ago. They had been in isolation since February 6th. At that point, the global death toll was just over 500 and most of the fatalities reported were in China. (For the record, the current death toll for this strain of the Coronavirus is over 6,500 worldwide and there are 3,000 cases confirmed in Germany.) Germany had reported a domestic transmission at the end of January, but when the first fourteen cast members entered the house, it was completely unknown what a global emergency COVID-19 would become. New castmembers are not allowed to mention it.

Now, viewers of the show are questioning whether it’s fair to keep these people in the dark as their family is at risk in the outside world. Sure, being in the Big Brother house is basically a quarantine of its own but is there an unstated understanding between houseguests and production to communicate something of this magnitude?

Others, however, are taking the “ignorance is bliss” approach and think that the German houseguests on Big Brother are the lucky ones.

It’s true that Big Brother Canada contestants don’t seem to know about the gravity of the situation, either. A clip is circulating online in which castmembers are discussing why it doesn’t seem there’s a live audience anymore. In Canada, large gatherings are being discouraged so Big Brother opted to cancel live studio tapings. But the Canadian contestants were put in isolation at the beginning of March, so there was slightly more information on COVID-19 that they had access to.

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