Tom Hanks shared his experience battling COVID-19 in an exclusive interview with the Guardian—and it didn’t sound like it was much fun.
On March 10, Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson became two of the first celebrities to suffer from the coronavirus when they tested positive for COVID-19 while filming in Australia.
They were hospitalized for three days, and in the Guardian interview, Hanks said he and Wilson had two very different reactions to COVID-19.
“My wife lost her sense of taste and smell, she had severe nausea, she had a much higher fever than I did,” Hanks said. “I just had crippling body aches, I was very fatigued all the time and I couldn’t concentrate on anything for more than about 12 minutes.”
Hanks said they recovered from COVID-19 in two weeks, and they haven’t experienced any long-term health effects. He said he wasn’t too stressed while in the hospital, despite being more at risk because of his medical history.
“When we were in the hospital, I said: ‘I’m 63, I have type 2 diabetes, I had a stent in my heart—am I a red flag case?’ But as long as our temperatures did not spike and our lungs did not fill up with something that looked like pneumonia, they were not worried,” Hanks said. “I’m not one who wakes up in the morning wondering if I’m going to see the end of the day or not. I’m pretty calm about that.”
In mid-April, Wilson described her experience with COVID-19 to the Guardian and said she was scared when they were hospitalized.
“We both had a high fever and were extremely achy. I lost my sense of taste and smell, had stomach issues, and shivering like you wouldn’t believe. Yeah, I was scared,” Wilson said. “Extreme nausea, vertigo, my muscles felt like wet noodles, so I couldn’t really stand.”
In his first TV interview since recovering from COVID-19, Hanks told the Today Show on July 7 that people’s duty in fighting the virus is “simple.”
“Wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands,” said Hanks, who has donated blood for coronavirus vaccine research. “That alone means you are contributing to the betterment of your house, your work, your town, society as a whole and it’s such a small thing and it’s a mystery to me how somehow that has been wiped out of what should be ingrained in the behavior of us all simple things do your part.”
In his interview with the Guardian, Hanks expressed disbelief that people refuse to do the bare minimum to stop the coronavirus spread, which has now killed more than 500,000 people worldwide.
“I know societally it’s been politicized, but I don’t get it, man,” Hanks said. “I don’t understand how anyone can put their foot down and say: ‘I don’t have to do my part.'”