Celebrated Australian singer-songwriter Thelma Plum has contracted the coronavirus.
Plum tested positive for COVID-19 and will be kept in a Brisbane hospital until Friday (March 20), at least.
“Tbh I don’t even really know where to begin, what a wild ride this last month has been for the world. All I can do is stress how important it is to be kind and compassionate to each other during this time & that we need to be looking out for and prioritising the most vulnerable people,” she writes in a social media post.
“This means skip that party, bar, restaurant or show you really want to go to and practice social distancing.”
Though she’s laid up for the time being, Plum says she’s “doing really good, feeling good.” But she warned of the virus’ potential harm, particularly to Australia’s Indigenous communities, and called on at-risk people to reach out to health professionals.
“The lack of action taken by the government has left me feeling quite anxious and hopeless, as it has many other people,” she continued. “Schools need to be shut down but there needs to be structures in place that can ensure low income families and vulnerable people aren’t being left in the dark. People need to work from home and if they aren’t able to the government needs to step in & financially help. Putting a temporary moratorium on things like rent, bills and mortgages could be a great start.”
The young Gamilaraay artist emerged as a bonafide star with her self-reflective debut full length album, Better in Blak (Warner Music Australia). The 2019 LP placed second in the triple j album of the year listeners poll, was shortlisted for the prestigious Australian Music Prize, and scored the singer six ARIA Award nominations (winning for best cover art), with Plum performing the title track on the night of the 2019 ARIAs.
Arriving at No. 4 on the ARIA Albums Chart, Better in Blak and two other songs from the set landed in triple j’s Hottest 100 countdown. The album’s title track came in at No. 9, making her the highest-ranking indigenous artist in the history of the fan-voted poll.
Plum recently announced her Homecoming Queen tour, with dates across May, June and July, and she was booked to perform at the 2020 Splendour in the Grass festival, which has been rescheduled from July to October. She’s one of at least 512 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia, a list that has included Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, and high-profile entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins.