- Actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson tested positive for the coronavirus in Australia last month and had difficult, but different, experiences with the illness.
- “I just tried to do basic stretches and exercises on the floor and I couldn’t even get halfway through,” Hanks said on the National Defence Radio Show, adding that he was “wiped” after the 12-minute attempt.
- Wilson said she had a high fever and was treated with the anti-malarial drug chloroquine, which sparked severe nausea, vertigo, and weakness.
- The pair have recovered and returned to Los Angeles, where they donated blood and “are waiting to hear back if our antibodies will be helpful in developing a vaccine,” Wilson said on “CBS This Morning.”
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
News of husband-wife duo Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson testing positive for the coronavirus in March was a shocking development in the pandemic, and the veteran actor recently admitted that he was completely “wiped” by the illness.
The pair came down with COVID-19 in Australia, during preproduction of Baz Luhrmann’s untitled Elvis Presley film, in which Hanks plays Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker. After they tested positive, Hanks and Wilson were isolated in a Queensland hospital while their symptoms were monitored.
In a conversation with host Randy Miller on the National Defence Radio Show that aired on April 19, Hanks described being struck by body aches and exhaustion, telling Miller, “I was wiped after 12 minutes” of exercising so he “laid down in [his] hospital bed and just slept.”
Hanks, 63, told a medical professional who was treating him about the experience: “I just had the weirdest thing. I just tried to do basic stretches and exercises on the floor and I couldn’t even get halfway through.’ And she looked at me through her glasses like she was talking to the dumbest human being. And she said, ‘You have Covid-19.'”
But, the two-time Oscar winner told Miller that “Rita went through a tougher time than I did.”
“She had a much higher fever and she had some other symptoms,” he said. “She lost her sense of taste and sense of smell. She got absolutely no joy from food for actually the better part of three weeks.”
Wilson was treated with the anti-malarial drug chloroquine, which caused such severe nausea that she couldn’t even walk, Hanks said, adding, “She was so nauseous she had to crawl on the floor from the bed to the facilities.”
For her part, Wilson told Gayle King on “CBS This Morning” that she was “very tired” and experienced “chills like I never had before.”
“I felt extremely achy, uncomfortable, didn’t want to be touched, and then the fever started,” said Wilson, whose temperature reached 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
WATCH: In her first interview since her COVID-19 diagnosis, @RitaWilson says she's feeling great — and giving back.
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) April 14, 2020
The actress said she wasn’t sure if the chloroquine helped or “if it was just time for the fever to break.” It did, however, trigger “extreme side effects,” she said, adding, “I was completely nauseous and I had vertigo … and my muscles felt very weak.”
Wilson continued: “I think people have to be very considerate about that drug.”
Although the coronavirus impacted Hanks and Wilson differently, it took both “the same time to get through it,” she said. They later learned that they were both exposed to the virus at the same time, but aren’t sure where or when.
Wilson also told King that no one else they came in contact with in March came down with COVID-19. She said the couple, who has since recovered and returned home to Los Angeles, believe they are immune.
They have donated blood and “are waiting to hear back if our antibodies will be helpful in developing a vaccine” and if they can also donate plasma, Wilson said.