The coronavirus has swept through the world. As of March 30, there are over 723,000 cases throughout the world. Early on, it became obvious that nobody would be safe, as a growing number of celebrities were infected. While many have recovered, some succumbed to the virus. Here are the stories of some of the people who contracted the coronavirus.
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson
Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson announced on March 11 that they had both been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Theirs is the first high-profile case in Hollywood. The couple had been traveling in Australia to prepare for work on Baz Luhrmann’s biopic about Elvis Presley. Both of them started to experience symptoms similar to those seen in a cold or flu and duly had themselves tested. The results came back positive. The March 16 issue of “People” reported that they spent five days at a hospital in Queensland and were spending the rest of their quarantine in a rented house. After the end of their quarantine, they returned to Los Angeles on March 27.
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau
On March 12, “The New York Times” reported that Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, had tested positive for the coronavirus. Sophie Trudeau had begun showing symptoms the previous Wednesday after speaking at an event in London. The Prime Minister placed himself under self-isolation after his wife developed symptoms.
On March 28, Sophie Trudeau issued a statement that she had recovered from the coronavirus. Both her doctor and the Ottawa Public Health gave her clearance. During her illness, the Prime Minister and their three children remained at home in self-isolation. None of them showed any symptoms. During his self-isolation, Justin Trudeau gave news conferences every day. He is considering continuing to work at home to set an example for people who need to stay home.
On March 16, the British singer and actor Idris Elba posted a video on Twitter announcing that he had been diagnosed with the coronavirus. While Elba had not experienced any symptoms, he nonetheless had himself tested after discovering that he had been exposed to somebody with the virus the previous Friday. He thus immediately quarantined himself until he could undergo the test. Elba’s wife, Sabrina Dhowre, appears in the video with him. At the time, she had not yet undergone testing. In the video, Elba urged viewers to try to protect themselves from the virus through social distancing and washing their hands. He also urged solidarity and support for people who have lost loved ones or their livelihoods to the pandemic.
On March 22, Sabrina Dhowre announced that she had also tested positive with the coronavirus. When Oprah Winfrey asked why she had not isolated herself from her husband, Dhowre responded that she had wanted to stay with him and that she believed that she had already been exposed anyway. Both Dhowre and Elba have reported that they feel well. Dhowre has compared her mild symptoms to those of “seasonal allergies.”
The playwright Terrence McNally died on March 24 from coronavirus-related complications. He had been 81 years old and had had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and had also survived lung cancer. During his long career, McNally had won four Tonys and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. His works included musicals like “Ragtime” and dramas like “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.” The latter enjoyed a Broadway revival in 2019. After his death, Tony Kushner, the playwright of “Angels in America,” told “Vulture” theater critic Helen Shaw, “I was always in awe of Terrence’s imagination – it was a fountain of plays and ideas and plots and books for musicals.”
On March 25, a spokesperson for Prince Charles announced that the heir to the British throne has tested positive for the coronavirus. He also had mild symptoms. He isolated himself with his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, in Scotland for a week. The Duchess had undergone testing and received negative results. The prince’s spokesperson added that Prince Charles had visited his mother the Queen on March 12, but she appears to be in good health.
As per the government guidelines in the UK, people with symptoms should self-isolate for a week, while anybody in their household should self-isolate for two weeks. Prince Charles came out of self-isolation on March 30 after being examined by his doctor. The Duchess will remain in self-isolation until the end of the week.
While celebrities enjoy the advantages of access to testing and excellent healthcare, certain aspects of their lives arguably increase their risk of contracting the coronavirus. It’s worth noting, for example, that several people contracted the virus during work-related travel. Actors, royals, and politicians all have occupations that require them to be around other people almost constantly. It takes time and care to make arrangements to work from the safety of one’s home. Social distancing does provide protection – but can be hard for couples and family members to implement.