Holly Thomas is a writer and editor based in London. She tweets @HolstaT. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. View more opinion articles on CNN. (CNN)As of midday Thursday, the US was preparing for the coronavirus pandemic to last up to 18 months. Germany is mobilizing its army and more than 60 million people in Italy are under lockdown in a bid to stem the spread of the disease. For weeks, social media, rolling news coverage and email inboxes have been saturated with updates, as global populations try to keep pace with a story which evolves by the hour. A few people, however, have been totally unaware of the scale of the catastrophe until recent days.They are the “Big Brother” housemates in Germany, Brazil and Canada, all of whom went into a news blackout when they entered their respective houses weeks ago. The CBS reality show sees more than a dozen strangers live in a house fitted up with cameras filming their every move for weeks, and broadcasting their most “dramatic” moments for the TV audience.The participants’ ignorance in the face of the escalating crisis presents an ethical dilemma which heightens the already murky

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