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Why Matt Damon Is Quarantined in a Small Irish Town

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Unlike many celebrities who are stuck at home in their Hollywood mansions or New York City penthouses, it seems Matt Damon has chosen to hunker down and weather the storm of the global coronavirus pandemic in a remarkably more quaint locale.

Damon -- along with his wife, Luciana, and their three children -- is currently self-isolating in a house in Dalkey, Ireland, a seaside hamlet southeast of Dublin with a population of 8,000.

While Damon's presence in the town has become a welcome, if not undeniably unusual, reality for the residents, the question of why is family chose Dalkey to hunker down has left fans puzzled.

As The New York Timesreports, Damon has been spending time in the Irish village during the nearby production of his forthcoming drama, The Last Duel.

The period drama -- starring Damon and Ben Affleck, who also wrote the script alongside Nicole Holofcener, and directed by Ridley Scott -- has since suspended production amid the pandemic.

However, the Contagion star and his family apparently decided to stay at their residence in Dalkey instead of returning home to their multi-million dollar luxury penthouse in Brooklyn Heights. 

As it turns out, this proved to be a remarkably prescient decision, as New York City alone has seen over 260,000 reported cases of COVID-19 and over 20,800 deaths. By comparison, there have been approximately 17,600 cases and 794 deaths thus far in all of Ireland.

According to reports, locals have taken to playfully referring to the actor as Matt O'Damon, and he's lived a remarkably low-key life in the town, where -- due to Ireland's specific social distancing mandates -- residents are required to remain within two kilometers of their houses.

Damon has been going about his business like any other person in the village, while still obliging those who ask to snap a photo. Before the quarantine, which also led the temporary closure of most bars and non-essential businesses, he'd drop in for a pint or a meal.

It's unclear at this time when or if Damon and his family plan to return to the U.S.

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