Last month, Tom Hanks spiked public awareness of COVID-19 when he shared via Instagram that he and his wife, Rita Wilson, tested positive for the disease. The couple were the first major celebrities to publicly announce a COVID-19 diagnosis.
Hanks said both “felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches,” adding that his wife’s symptoms involved “some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too.”
The couple, in Australia working on a movie, spent five days in a local hospital in Queensland. After discharge, they went into self-quarantine at a rented house nearby. Two weeks later, Hanks tweeted, "Hey, folks. Two weeks after our first symptoms and we feel better. Sheltering in place works like this: You don't give it to anyone - You don't get it from anyone. Common sense, no?”
After their recovery from coronavirus, Hanks and Wilson returned to their Los Angeles home March 27. Days later, via Instagram, Wilson said she was healthy and called herself a “COVID-19 survivor.”
Hanks followed with a Twitter post: “Hey Folks… We’re home now and, like the rest of America, we carry on sheltering in place and social distancing. Many, many thanks to everyone in Australia who looked after us. Their care and guidance made possible our return to the USA.”
“Eighty percent of people don’t require hospitalization,” Dr. Stovall says. “And while Tom Hanks and his wife were hospitalized, it’s also important to note that like them, most people who contract coronavirus don’t end up on a ventilator in an intensive-care unit, either.”
But that’s not to suggest coronavirus should be taken lightly, Dr. Stovall stresses.
“Many people might contract the illness but may not know it because their symptoms are mild or short-lived. Dr. Stovall cautions. “They might still be able to spread the virus and not know it. That’s why it’s so important we practice physical distancing, isolation, self-quarantining (when needed) and good hand washing our hands, These behaviors will save lives.”