The Big Brother Germany cast were some of the last people to be aware of the coronavirus.
The unassuming group of 14 contestants finally learned about the global pandemic — on live TV.
The contestants, who have been secluded in Cologne, Germany, since February 10, were told about the widespread outbreak on March 17.
Big Brother host Jochen Schropp told the cast that “a disease called Covid-19 had spread across the world” and “reached Europe.”
Some contestants burst into tears while others questioned the greater effects the pandemic would have on the world, including the economy.
The 14 were also allowed to receive video messages from their family and friends.
When the show first began filming in early February, coronavirus cases were mostly found in China.
As of March 18, Germany has reported more than 9,000 confirmed infections and 24 deaths while most of the country's businesses have been forced to close and the country's borders with France, Austria and Switzerland shut except for commercial traffic.
The US version of Big Brother faced a similar scenario in 2001 when the season 2 cast were unaware of the September 11 attacks, although producers opted to tell the final three contestants about the national tragedy.