From ‘freaky’ to ‘I feel good,’ these are celebrities’ coronavirus stories
“Not bad at all.”
“A turbo-charged flu.”
“The hardest experience of my life.”
Those are just a few phrases celebrities have used to describe their wide-ranging experiences battling the novel coronavirus.
Throughout March and April, several stars — including Pink, Tom Hanks, Idris Elba, Daniel Dae Kim and more — have gone public with coronavirus diagnoses and offered some insight into their respective symptoms, or lack thereof. Some, like Elba, have been largely asymptomatic, while others, including CNN newscaster Chris Cuomo, have had a tougher fight with the respiratory illness.
Several entertainers, including playwright Terrence McNally, Fountains of Wayne frontman Adam Schlesinger, singer-songwriter John Prine, and “The Nun’s Story” actress and author Patricia Bosworth, have died of complications related to the respiratory illness.
Here’s a sampling of celebrity COVID-19 accounts, from “freaky” to “very mild.”
Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Pink, Idris Elba, Daniel Dae Kim, Andy Cohen and more have gone public with coronavirus diagnoses. And the list is growing.
“There have been many nights where I cried, and I have never prayed more in my life,” the “So What” singer, who tested positive along with her 3-year-old son, said during an Instagram video chat. “At one point I heard myself saying, ‘I thought they promised us our kids would be OK.’ And it’s not guaranteed. There’s no one who is safe from this.
“[My son has] had a fever for three weeks and diarrhea and then constipation and then throwing up and pale and listless and lethargic and all the things that scare the bejesus out of you as a mama.”
“This virus came at me — I’ve never seen anything like it,” the CNN anchor said on “Prime Time,” describing the effects of body-quaking “rigors.” “Yeah, I’ve had a fever, you’ve had a fever. But ... it was like somebody was beating me like a piñata. And I was shivering so much that ... I chipped my tooth.
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo gave an update on his coronavirus experience as he broadcast his “Prime Time” show Wednesday in quarantine from his basement.
“I’m telling you, I was hallucinating. ... It was freaky, what I lived through last night. And it may happen again tonight. Doctor says it may happen like five, eight times. I get it now. And if you match that with chest constriction and people can’t breathe, I totally get why we’re losing so many people and why our hospitals are so crowded.”
“I had a VERY MILD case of Covid and am counting my blessings for that,” the “Love Song” hitmaker wrote on her Instagram story. “I am totally fine and fully recovered. Couple of rough days but I promise I’m fine.”
“I’ve been feeling good for a week and a couple days,” the “Watch What Happens Live” host told Jimmy Fallon April 6 on “The Tonight Show.” “I went outside for the first time a couple days ago, which was really exciting.”
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson
“We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches,” the “Toy Story” star wrote in a statement shared to social media. “Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too.”
Daniel Dae Kim
“I started noticing some scratchiness in my throat, which is unlike how I usually get sick,” the “Lost” alum said, revealing his diagnosis on Instagram. “Later that night, I started feeling tightness in my chest, body aches, and my temperature started to rise.”
“This disease is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, and this past week was no exception,” Kim said several days later in a follow-up video announcing his recovery.
“The day after my last video, my course of treatment ended ... I was feeling healthier, as I mentioned, and I thought it would be good to let my immune system to take charge the rest of the way. But maybe I was a bit too confident because a day after, I started to feel sluggish, tired. I was still congested, and weirdly, I lost my sense of smell, which also led to a loss in my sense of taste.”
“It’s been kicking my [butt], just to put it very bluntly,” the “Bachelor” star said in a brief video message. “The main thing is I can’t even walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath or go to the bathroom without having to sit down because I’m exhausted.”
Outlining his symptoms in a follow-up post, Underwood said he had experienced “headache, body aches, night sweats, fever, shortness of breath and a cough,” as well as trouble “doing simple tasks like ... getting out of bed.”
In his new book, Colton Underwood — who was recently diagnosed with coronavirus — talks about being manipulated by producers on “The Bachelor.”
Later, Underwood told The Times he overcame his symptoms by taking “the combination of drugs that President Trump recommended,” Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin.
“But I had to take my tweets down because people were threatening to sue me for false claims,” Underwood said, referencing the controversial drugs, which can have dangerous, sometimes deadly side-effects. “I had people with lupus coming at me saying, ‘You’re taking our medication.’ I was receiving death threats. It’s scary.”
“I’m OK — I’m not bad at all. My physical symptoms have mostly abated. In fact, there’s very little of it left,” the “Running on Empty” hitmaker told The Times. “I wasn’t getting sicker and sicker. It wasn’t even the kind of sick where I’d miss a day of work, the kind of thing that would usually turn into a huge chest cough — nothing like that, it was just weird. And that told me this was not like other colds or flu — for me, anyway. I feel very fortunate. It didn’t knock me out that bad.”
“Perhaps I am a particularly robust 59 year old — I like to think I am — or was blessed with getting only a mild case of Covid 19,” the Duran Duran bassist wrote on Facebook. “But after a week or so of what I would describe as a ‘Turbo-charged Flu,’ I came out of it feeling okay — although I must admit I didn’t mind the quarantine as it gave me the chance to really recover.”
“I feel OK. I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus,” the “Luther” star said upon announcing his diagnosis on Twitter. Elba has updated his fans on social media regularly throughout his experience, which has continued to be asymptomatic.
“About a month ago my entire home(husband and two teen daughters) got an odd bug — Low grade fever, headaches, sore throat, body aches, ears ringing and a dry cough,” the “Younger” and “Entourage” actress wrote on Instagram.
“It cleared up quickly. Seasonal I thought? but it felt unusual/different... Two weeks later, March 15th, I woke up with all those same symptoms but super intense body aches, and 102.4 fever. I figured maybe I got the flu or... Corona?
“Today is day 5 and I just found out.Im hoping I’ve been through the worst of it already.Its very “morphy”.One day I feel crappy and the next I’m normal.Today my lungs are heavy,but I’m tough. I can breath,and I’m going to heal here,in my own home!”
“I been to the point where I just felt like I was gonna die, bro,” said the rapper in a livestream chat with his bandmate Willie D. “I threw up so much until it was just, like, hot sauce… I didn’t have no food in my stomach — it was just coming up like bile.”
The latest updates from our reporters in California and around the world
“I consider myself extremely lucky that my symptoms have been very mild — cold like with no fever — as so many are experiencing much more serious symptoms, because this is a very dangerous virus,” the “Wicked” and “Moulin Rouge!” actor wrote on Instagram. “One thing I have been experiencing is the loss of taste and smell, which I think is a big sign for people who are otherwise [asymptomatic].”
“I am a pretty healthy 43-year-old who doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink much, eats well and exercises regularly and this has been the hardest experience of my life,” the “Young and the Restless” actor wrote on Instagram.
“Two+ weeks ago, everyone in my house had a bit of a cough and my son came home from school with a high fever. Everyone recovered, but I deteriorated ... I had a fever for 11 days, difficulty breathing and was diagnosed with pneumonia. I’m confident that I have finally turned the proverbial corner and am fever free today for the first time since this all started.”
Five days later, he updated his followers that his condition was much improved and he was feeling “fantastic” despite having “a little bit of a lingering cough.”
“What started was I had a real tightness in my chest,” the actress told “Good Morning America” after revealing the “pure misery” of her diagnosis. “I was walking my dog Cooper, and I just felt very, very winded and I assumed, of course, it was because I never work out and I’m out of shape, but it was too heavy for that.
“I came home, wasn’t feeling great and it wasn’t until the fever started that I realized this can’t be a common summer cold ... I’ve had high fevers, sort of 101, 103 [degrees Fahrenheit]. ... Achy joints is a big thing. It feels like a really, really horrible flu.”
“It came suddenly yesterday afternoon,” the CNN anchor wrote on Instagram, adding that she experienced chills, aches and a fever. “I’ve been social distancing. Doing ALL the things we’re being told to do. Still — it got me.”
Laura Bell Bundy
“What I wanted to do is explain to you some of the symptoms that I have. While they be minor, I believe they’re minor because I have been taking care of myself,” the Broadway star said on Instagram. “I’ve been quarantining since Thursday, March 12. That day, I had a headache, and I just assumed it was a normal headache. A few days later, I had a sore throat kind of come and go, and I began to take some herbs.
“A few days after that, I had what I can only explain as a tightness in my chest and a shortness of breath that was also intermittent. Over the weekend, I had no symptoms at all, and I actually thought I was delusional for thinking that I had this … And then Monday I began to have the symptoms rear their ugly head again, and the doctor confirmed it.”
“E.T.” and “Empire of the Sun” cinematographer Allen Daviau, jazz saxophonist Lee Konitz and music producer Hal Willner have all died from COVID-19.
“I’m good. I feel good. I don’t got no problems right now,” the “Welcome 2 Houston” rapper said in an Instagram video. “The other day I had a slight fever and a cough. I have no fever … nothing like that, so I feel like I’m good. But y’all better take it serious. It’s real out here.”
“I’ve been sick for a week and feeling better each day,” the Bon Jovi keyboardist wrote on Instagram. “Please don’t be afraid!!! It’s the flu not the plague.”
“My Family and I are all in self isolation for as long as it is deemed medically necessary,” the opera star, who has been accused of sexual harassment, said on Facebook. “Currently we are all in good health but I experienced fever and cough symptoms therefore deciding to get tested.”
“My [family] and I ... are in good health,” the “Game of Thrones” alum wrote on Instagram. “I only have mild symptoms of a cold.”
“I’m not in the habit of discussing medical issues on social media, but I do so in hope this will help other people to understand how serious and how contagious this illness is,” the singer-songwriter wrote on Facebook. “Although I am fortunate enough to be cared for at home, this is possibly the worst illness I’ve ever had.”
How can the new coronavirus affect people so differently — killing some while leaving others blissfully unaware that they have been infected at all?
Your essential guide to the arts in L.A.
Get Carolina A. Miranda's weekly newsletter for what's happening, plus openings, critics' picks and more.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.