Tom Hanks says he and his wife, Rita Wilson, who were isolated in an Australian hospital in March after testing positive for the coronavirus, exhibited highly distinct symptoms of the potentially fatal disease.
Jokingly calling himself and Wilson "the celebrity canaries in the coal mine of all things COVID-19," the two-time Academy Award winner told the U.K. newspaper "The Guardian" in an interview published Monday, "Our discomfort because of the virus was pretty much done in two weeks and we had very different reactions, and that was odd. My wife lost her sense of taste and smell, she had severe nausea, she had a much higher fever than I did. 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. That last bit is kinda like my natural state anyway," he added with a chuckle.
Hanks said he was unduly concerned about the disease taking a deadly turn. "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. 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."
He expressed surprise at those who do not heed medical advice to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, which has infected nearly 2.9 million Americans and killed roughly 130,000. "There's really only three things everyone needs to do: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands. I know societally it's been politicized, but I don't get it, man. I don't understand how anyone can put their foot down and say: 'I don't have to do my part.' "
He added, "I grew up looking to our leaders for calm and informed guidance and I don't think we've got that."
Hanks, whose most recent film, "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," earned him his sixth Oscar nomination, stars as a World War II naval commander in the Apple TV Plus movie "Greyhound," premiering Friday. Hanks turns 64 on Thursday.
Singer-actress Wilson, 63, has not commented on her husband's description of her symptoms.