41 famous people on having Covid-19: from Elton John to Novak Djokovic

This is what these notable personalities have said about their experiences with coronavirus

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As Omicron continues to spread across the world, each day brings new reports of celebrities, politicians and athletes testing positive for Covid-19.

Singer Sir Elton John is the latest big name to contract the virus, despite being vaccinated and boosted, and has had to postpone two farewell concert dates in Dallas, Texas, although he is "experiencing only mild symptom" and is "returning to the stage shortly".

Many of those who may have avoided the virus in the early days of the pandemic, have caught it now, and vice versa.

Here are some of the most famous people to have recovered from coronavirus in the past two years and who have spoken openly about their experience, whether mild or otherwise.

1. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The New York Democrat representative, 32, caught Covid-19 recently, "probably Omicron", posting in mid-January about how she's finally recovered.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tested positive for Covid-19 in early January 2022. AFP

"As of today I am thankfully recovered and wrapping up quarantine, but Covid was no joke," Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Instagram, also urging people to wear masks and rest when they do catch the virus.

"For a while, I’ve noted the term 'mild' is misleading when the bar is hospitalisation and death. Even 'mild' cases can result in long Covid, which includes a range of conditions like cognitive impairment, POTS [postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome] and chronic fatigue."

Ocasio-Cortez was fully vaccinated and had even had the booster when she caught Covid-19, and still experienced symptoms.

2. Chris Rock

"Trust me, you don't want it." That's what US comedian Chris Rock said after testing positive for Covid-19 in September. He used the moment to tell people to get vaccinated.

Earlier last year, he told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show that he took the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, joking that he used his "celebrity" to cut the line. "I didn't care. I was like, 'Hey, step aside Betty White, step aside old people, Judge Judy."

In October, he was back on stage. Rock performed at the opening night of musician Robert Glasper's Robtober residency at New York's Blue Note Jazz Club. "I'm back from the dead. I had Covid," he said. "It wasn’t quite as hard as being black, but it was close… That’s why everyone’s trying to avoid it man."

3. Hilary Duff

In August, the actress who played Lizzie McGuire said she tested positive for the Delta variant of Covid-19, despite being fully vaccinated.

Hilary Duff posted a picture of herself lying in bed on her Instagram Stories, describing her symptoms. "Bad headache. No taste or smell. Sinus pressure. Brain fog."

Hilary Duff has fully recovered from Covid-19, saying she's 'happy to be vaxxed'. Invision / AP

Duff said she was "happy to be vaxxed".

It all happened mere days after she started shooting for the new sitcom How I Met Your Father, which came out on Hulu last Tuesday. The star takes on the lead role in the spin-off of How I Met Your Mother, set in future New York, recalling what it was like to date in 2021.

4. Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks was famously among the first celebrities to publicly announce he had Covid-19, along with his wife, Rita Wilson.

The two-time Oscar-winner contracted the virus while in Australia back in March 2020, right at the beginning of the pandemic, as Hanks was filming an Elvis Presley biopic in Queensland.

He and Wilson spent time in quarantine there, and he's spoken extensively about his experiences since then, saying they were "the celebrity canaries in the coal mine of all things Covid-19".

Hanks said he remained calm, despite being 63 with Type 2 diabetes and a stent in his heart, making him high-risk. His symptoms didn't last for more than two weeks, though, but he and Wilson reacted very differently to the virus.

“My wife lost her sense of taste and smell, she had severe nausea [and] she had a much higher fever than I did,” he said. “But as long as our temperatures did not spike, and our lungs did not fill up with something that looked like pneumonia, they [the doctors] were not worried."

5. Sarah Palin

In March last year, the former governor of Alaska tested positive for Covid-19. At the time, Sarah Palin said her catching the virus was proof that "anyone can".

She wasn't the only Palin to get it, as other members of her family, including her son Trig, then 12, who has Down syndrome, also had symptoms.

In spite of having fever and sore muscles from Covid-19 in March 2021, Sarah Palin later said she'd get the vaccine "over my dead body".

Palin said in a video on Instagram that the "worst thing about Covid" was that "when you're not feeling well, don't you still just want your mom?"

Her symptoms included fever and sore muscles, plus some of the more "bizarre" side effects, such as loss of taste and smell.

She told People that Covid-19 can "really knock you down", and urged people to remain vigilant and wear masks. "I advise reprioritising some personal time and resources to ensure as healthy a lifestyle as you can create so when viruses do hit, you have at least some armour to fight it."

In December, however, she told a cheering crowd at AmericaFest 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona that she'd get the vaccine "over my dead body". “I will not do that. I won’t do it, and they better not touch my kids either.”

On Monday, Palin tested positive again.

6. Liv Tyler

It was New Year's Eve in 2020 that Liv Tyler tested positive. She shared her experience on Instagram two weeks later, after she'd finished quarantining, away from her children, who kept the actress's spirits up by posting sweet notes under her door.

"I'm such a private and shy person and usually don’t share such things but this is a big one and I feel we all need to share our stories, to share information, to gather facts and awareness and mostly to know we are not alone in this," she wrote.

"On the morn of the last day of 2020... boom, it took me down. It comes on fast, like a locomotive. Owchie."

Tyler refers to what she had as "corona light", but still says it "floored me for 10 days in my bed".

"We are all connected through this experience. I am humbled and filled with gratitude, to be well, a gift and beaming love and light to all those who have left this world because of this virus and those who are suffering."

7. Antonio Banderas

The Spanish actor spent his 60th birthday in quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19 in August 2020. The Desperado star, who had suffered a heart attack a couple of years prior, spent three weeks isolating.

“After 21 days of disciplinary confinement, I can say now that today I overcame the Covid-19 infection. I am cured,” he wrote on Twitter in Spanish and English. “My thoughts go to those who weren’t as fortunate as me, and to those who suffered more than I did. I also wish strength to the ones who are in the middle of the fight.”

He also said in Spanish: “I would like to add that I feel relatively good, just a little more tired than usual, and am confident that I will recover as soon as possible following medical instructions that I hope will allow me to overcome the infectious period that I am suffering, and that is affecting so many people around the planet."

8. Khloe Kardashian

The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star didn't get Covid-19 once, but twice. Khloe Kardashian tested positive in March 2020, then again with her daughter True, 3, in October 2021.

"Luckily I have been vaccinated so all will be OK," she wrote on Twitter after the second diagnosis. "We will be over here in quarantine and following current guidelines."

From isolation, she wrote on Instagram that she is "so over" the virus.

When she first contracted the virus, Kardashian said in a clip from KUWTK that it was "really bad for a couple of days".

"I suffer from migraines, but this was the craziest headache. I wouldn't say it was a migraine. The coughing, my chest would burn when I would cough."

9. Sharon Osbourne

British reality star Sharon Osbourne, wife of rocker Ozzy Osbourne, was briefly in hospital with Covid-19 at the end of 2020.

"I wanted to share I've tested positive for Covid-19," she wrote on Instagram. "After a brief hospitalisation, I'm now recuperating at a location away from Ozzy (who has tested negative) while The Talk is on scheduled hiatus. Everyone please stay safe and healthy." She didn't go into details on her symptoms.

Ozzy, who has recovered from colon cancer and been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, thankfully didn't get it, but one of Sharon's young granddaughters also tested positive at the same time. As did fellow The Talk co-host Carrie Ann Inaba of The Talk, a show Sharon has since left following a controversial on-screen argument about racism, where she defended Piers Morgan's comments about Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

The journalist had claimed he "did not believe a word" when Meghan said she felt suicidal while pregnant with son Archie in a bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.

10. Melissa Joan Hart

The Sabrina the Teenage Witch actress tested positive in March 2021 despite being fully vaccinated, blaming it on the fact her children don't have to wear masks at school.

“I got Covid. I am vaccinated and I got Covid, and it’s bad,” Melissa Joan Hart said in an Instagram video. “It’s weighing on my chest. It's hard to breathe.”

Hart said she was upset that more was not being done in the US to curb the transmission rate. She also implied that she may have contracted the virus from one of her children. Hart has three sons, aged between 8 and 15, with her musician husband Mark Wilkerson.

“I’m scared and sad and disappointed in myself and some of our leaders, and a lot of people,” she said. “I just wish I’d done better so I’m asking you guys to do better. Protect your families, protect your kids. It’s not over yet, I hoped it was but it’s not, so stay vigilant and stay safe.”

11. Ellen DeGeneres

Presenter Ellen DeGeneres spoke candidly about her December 2020 battle with Covid-19 on her chat show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, in January last year.

"Obviously, there are a lot of negative things going on, so instead I want to talk about something positive – my Covid test," she joked.

More candidly, she recalled her symptoms, saying: “On the fourth day I woke up with back spasms, and I thought I pulled a muscle because I was in a different bed, but it just persisted and the doctor put me on pain pills and muscle relaxers – jackpot, this thing is finally paying off.

“But the pain pills did not help. My back got worse. It felt like I cracked a rib ... the doctors finally put me on a steroid pack, because the other stuff was not working, but here's the thing about steroids: They make you really speedy and really edgy ... I'm still on them, I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, I find the muscle relaxers helpful."

12. Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton described himself as 'happy to be alive' after testing positive for Covid-19 in 2020. PA Wire

British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton described himself as "happy to be alive" after he got Covid-19 in November 2020.

Speaking after the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, his first race back after he tested positive, Hamilton said he was "not the usual me" and still had "some feeling within my lungs".

"I'm destroyed. I do not feel good," Hamilton told Sky Sports. "But I'm happy, I'm grateful. I'm alive, and I live to fight another day.

13. Gloria Estefan

Another star to get the coronavirus in late 2020 is Cuban-American singer Gloria Estefan. The singer spoke about her experience with the virus, saying she only had “a little bit of a cough”.

“I was very lucky, but I just wanted to share with you that I was in quarantine, and one day I went out and met with one person who was not wearing a mask. I even held my breath through their talk, but something must have happened there,” she said.

14. Princess Sofia

Princess Sofia and Prince Carl Philip of Sweden both came down with Covid-19 in November 2020. Stella Pictures

Swedish royal Princess Sofia, along with her husband Prince Carl Philip, announced that she had “light flu symptoms” when they both came down with Covid-19 in November 2020.

In April 2020, Princess Sofia started volunteering at Sweden’s Sophiahemmet Hospital to support doctors and nurses in their Covid-19 efforts.

“In the crisis we find ourselves in, the princess wants to get involved and make a contribution as a voluntary worker to relieve the large workload of health care professionals,” the Swedish royal family said.

Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, both in their seventies, also tested positive for Covid-19 in January 2022.

15. Amitabh Bachchan

Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan was admitted to hospital with Covid-19 in July 2020, along with his son and daughter-in-law, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

When he was discharged in August, he described his case of Covid-19 as “mild” and thanked the “excellent care and nursing at Nanavati [Super Speciality Hospital]” who he said “made it possible for me to see this day”.

16. Hugh Grant

FILE PHOTO: Actor Hugh Grant poses for photographers at the world premiere of 'Paddington 2' at the BFI Southbank, in London, Britain November 5, 2017. REUTERS/Mary Turner/File Photo

It was a scent-less spritz of perfume that let British actor Hugh Grant to know he had Covid-19, early in 2020.

In November 2020, he graphically described his symptoms while appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

“It started as just a very strange syndrome where I kept breaking into a terrible sweat. It was like a poncho of sweat, embarrassing really,” he said. “Then my eyeballs felt about three sizes too big and this feeling as though an enormous man was sitting on my chest – Harvey Weinstein or someone.

"I thought I don't know what this is. Then I was walking down the street one day and I thought I can't smell a damn thing and you start to panic. By then people were just starting to talk about this as a symptom … I started sniffing in garbage cans. You know, you want to sniff strangers' armpits because you just can't smell anything. I eventually went home and I sprayed my wife's Chanel No 5 directly into my face. Couldn't smell a thing, but I did go blind."

17. Novak Djokovic

A controversial name in the conversation about Covid-19, Serbian tennis pro Novak Djokovic has publicly opposed the vaccine and was recently deported from Australia, following a visa controversy.

He has, however, been open about having the virus in June 2020 during the Adria Tour.

Speaking of being against the vaccine, he said: “I see that the international media has taken that out of context a little bit, saying that I am completely against vaccines of any kind.

“My issue here with vaccines is if someone is forcing me to put something in my body. That I don’t want. For me, that’s unacceptable. I am not against vaccination of any kind, because who am I to speak about vaccines when there are people that have been in the field of medicine and saving lives around the world?

“I’m sure that there are vaccines that have little side effects that have helped people and helped stop the spread of some infections around the world.”

18. Donald Trump

Both the former first lady and president of the US Melania and Donald Trump tested positive for Covid-19 while he was in office. AFP

Former US president Donald Trump tested positive for Covid-19 three days before his first debate against Joe Biden in October 2020.

According to The New York Times, he had “extremely depressed blood oxygen levels”.

He was admitted to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre, where his physician described him as “fatigued but in good spirits”.

19. Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had Covid-19 and was admitted to intensive care in April 2020.

Speaking about the virus in February 2021, he said it never occurred to him that he “might not make it”, but said: “I think one of the features of this illness is that as you undergo it, you don’t realise quite what a state you’re in. Your oxygen levels go down in a way that perhaps the patient doesn’t quite detect themselves.”

20. Melania Trump

Former US first lady Melania Trump also tested positive for Covid-19 in October 2020. She wrote a blog post about it, titled "My personal experience with Covid-19".

“I was very fortunate as my diagnosis came with minimal symptoms, though they hit me all at once and it seemed to be a roller coaster of symptoms in the days after,” she wrote. "I experienced body aches, a cough and headaches, and felt extremely tired most of the time. I chose to go a more natural route in terms of medicine, opting more for vitamins and healthy food.

“Recovering from an illness gives you a lot of time to reflect. When my husband was taken to Walter Reed as a precaution, I spent much of my time reflecting on my family.”

21. Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris, the man who famously played teenage physician Doogie Howser, revealed he, his partner and their twins, Gideon and Harper, 9, had Covid-19 in early 2020.

"I thought I had the flu, and I didn't want to be paranoid about it," he told Today. "And then I lost my sense of taste and smell, which was a big indicator, so we holed up."

Neil Patrick Harris arrives at the premiere of 'The Matrix Resurrections' on Saturday, December 18, 2021 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. AP Photo

"It was not pleasant, but we got through it and have antibodies and are feeling good," he said. "We want to make sure everyone's doing their best to slow this down every way possible, for sure."

Harris also posted on Instagram at the time he was "grateful" for the quarantine period, saying he and his partner, David Burtka, had "gotten to spend more quality time and it's brought us closer together".

22. Jillian Michaels

Despite being a world-famous fitness guru, health-conscious Jillian Michaels contracted Covid-19 in mid-2020 after she let her "guard down for an hour".

Personal Trainer Jillian Michaels said that those who are afraid of getting Covid-19 should not go to the gym. Getty Images

The celebrity fitness trainer, who formerly starred in The Biggest Loser, warned people against going to the gym. "If you are afraid of Covid, you should not go to the gym," she said on Fox Business. "And I actually am a person who let my guard down, I haven’t even spoken about this publicly really, and a very close friend of mine gave me Covid several weeks ago."

Michaels said she didn't realise for six days that she'd contracted the virus, but recovered pretty quickly, having been "fortunate to have gone into it being healthy. But not everybody is that lucky, as we know."

Michaels told ET Online she had a slight headache to begin with. "The second day I had a slight fever, body aches, headache. Third day, slight fever, body aches, headache. Fourth day, symptoms were practically gone, and by the fifth day I felt fine."

23. Dwayne Johnson

Around the same time as Jillian Michaels, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson also got Covid-19. The actor, TV host and former wrestler said, his wife and two daughters all tested positive, despite being "disciplined".

He said the positive tests were "a kick in the gut".

The American-Canadian Fast & Furious star said his daughters, who were 2 and 4 at the time, had mild cases, with "a sore throat for the first couple of days, but other than that they bounced back".

For The Rock and his wife, Lauren, however, they "had a rough go", he said, although didn't go into details on symptoms. He simply stated they "got through it as a family".

"I can tell you that this has been one of the most challenging and difficult things we have ever had to endure as a family," Johnson said in a video posted to his Instagram account.

24. Whoopi Goldberg

Actress Whoopi Goldberg recently revealed she tested positive for Covid-19 in early January as Omicron spread across the US. The star revealed she was “shocked” by her diagnosis, as she is “triple vaxxed” and had not “been anywhere or done anything”.

“But that’s the thing about Omicron, you just don’t know where it is. You don’t know where it is, who’s got it, who’s passing it. It’s one of those things where you think, ‘I’ve done everything I was supposed to do,’” she said via video call to her show, The View.

Actress and television personality Whoopi Goldberg revealed she contracted Covid-19 in January. AP

She also said: “Yeah, it doesn’t stop Omicron, and that’s the problem with a variant, because it gets stronger and does different stuff to you. So, you know, unless everybody gets vaccinated, this is what we’re going to be facing for the next, you know, little while.”

In May 2020, the actress also said she believes she contracted an early form of coronavirus in March 2019, after she was admitted to hospital for several weeks, suffering from pneumonia and sepsis.

In an interview on the UK's Loose Women TV show, in which she appeared by video link from her home in New York, Goldberg said her illness shared similarities with Covid-19.

“I personally think that people like me last year had some form of this and it evolved into Covid-19,” she said.

25. Alyssa Milano

Charmed actress Alyssa Milano has spoken of the long-term effects Covid-19 has had on her life, with the symptoms still affecting her 14 months after contracting the virus.

The star caught first got ill in March 2020, saying she had “never been so sick” in an Instagram post. And in an interview in May 2021, the actress revealed she was still suffering from shortness of breath, heart palpitations, brain fog, exhaustion and “aches and pains that feel like they’re on a skeletal level”.

“I’m done with fighting it, so I’ve kind of just almost surrendered to the idea that this might be how I feel now for the rest of my life,” she told People. “But I try to rest more and drink lots of water and take my supplements and do the best that I can.”

26. Bryan Cranston

Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston has spoken of the lasting effects of Covid-19. The actor caught the virus in summer 2020, but months later his taste and smell had still not fully returned.

Bryan Cranston had long-lasting effects from Covid-19. Reuters

"We were very lucky," he said during an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in December of the same year. "We had a few days of achiness, but not enough to keep you in bed. I had a temperature of 99 for about three hours, and then just exhaustion for a week.

"The only thing that lingered, and still is to this day, is that I lost a percentage of my ability to taste and smell," he said. "I think about 75 per cent has come back, but if someone was brewing coffee and I walk into a kitchen, I cannot smell it."

27. Mel Gibson

Actor and director Mel Gibson spoke of his experience with the virus after he was in hospital in April 2020. The star, 66, described it as “the weirdest thing” and said it was unlike anything he had ever experienced before.

Mel Gibson was admitted to hospital with Covid-19 in April 2020. AP

"You feel pretty crummy for a while," he said in an interview with Extra in May 2021. "But they didn't have to use a ventilator or anything. And I got well.

"It doesn't feel natural at all, it doesn't feel like anything else you've ever had," he said.

However, the star confirmed he made a full recovery and has not experienced any long-term side effects from Covid-19.

28. P!nk

After contracting the virus in March 2020, singer P!nk revealed that things got so bad, she decided to rewrite her will. In an interview with UK radio station Heart in 2021, the Just Like a Pill singer said: “This is going to sound crazy, but we had Covid last year, very early in March, and it was really, really bad and I rewrote my will.”

P!nk said her experience with Covid-19 was so bad she rewrote her will. AFP

The singer's son Jameson, 5, was also sick with the virus, but her husband, Carey Hart, and daughter Willow, 10, were not affected.

“You know, at the point where I thought it was over for us, I called my best friend and I said, ‘I just need you to tell Willow how much I loved her',” she said.

P!nk made a full recovery, but described the experience as “really, really scary and really bad”, saying it forced her to think about the legacy she will leave behind for her children.

“What am I teaching them? And are they going to make it in this world, this crazy world that we live in now?” she said. “And what do I need to tell them if this is the last time I ever get to tell them anything?”

29. Katrina Kaif

Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif tested positive for Covid-19 in April 2021. Confirming the news in an Instagram Story, she wrote: “I have tested positive for Covid-19. Have immediately isolated myself and will be under home quarantine.

"I’m following all safety protocols under the advice of my doctors. Requesting everyone who came in contact with me to get tested immediately too. Grateful for all your love and support. Please stay safe and take care.”

30. Vicky Kaushal

Vicky Kaushal tested positive for Covid-19 in 2021. EPA

Kaif’s diagnosis came a day after her now husband, actor Vicky Kaushal, also revealed he had tested positive for the virus. The star contracted Covid-19 while filming Mr Lele and his co-star Bhumi Pednekar also tested positive.

“In spite of all care and precautions, unfortunately, I have tested positive for Covid-19,” Kaushal said in an Instagram post. “Following all essential protocols, I am under home quarantine, taking medication as prescribed by my doctor. I request all those who came in contact with me to immediately get tested. Take care and stay safe.”

31. Akshay Kumar

Akshay Kumar tested positive for Covid-19 in April last year. Photo: Red Sea Film Festival

The Bollywood star’s headline-grabbing Covid-19 infection in April last year, at the height of India’s deadly second wave, was a hard one on the actor. One day after announcing he had tested positive, Akshay Kumar shared that he’d been admitted to hospital as a “precautionary measure”.

Along with Kumar, 45 crew members of Ram Setu, the film he was shooting, also tested positive, bringing production to a halt. Kumar, alongside co-stars Jacqueline Fernandez and Nushrratt Bharuccha, had begun filming at Mumbai's Madh Island for the new drama, about an archaeologist who sets out to explore whether the Ram Setu bridge is a myth or a reality.

Kumar has since released three films – Bell Bottom in August, Sooryavanshi in November and Atrangi Re in December.

“Covid-19 spared no one, in whatever shape and form it touched our lives. It has no care for the colour of your skin or your social status or gender," Kumar told The National while promoting Bell Bottom.

32. Aamir Khan

Aamir Khan is waiting to release his film 'Laal Singh Chaddha', long delayed by the pandemic. AFP

A few weeks after announcing he was leaving social media for good, the acclaimed actor's representative told the media in March that Aamir Khan had tested positive.

"Mr Aamir Khan has tested positive for Covid 19. He is at home in self-quarantine, following all the protocols and he’s doing fine. All those who came in contact with him in the recent past should get themselves tested as a precautionary measure. Thank you for all your wishes and concern," the representative said.

Khan, known for his critically-acclaimed and box-office hits, is waiting to release his long-delayed film Laal Singh Chaddha, an official remake of the Oscar-winning movie Forrest Gump. Scheduled for a Christmas release in 2020 and then last year, the film is now slated for an April opening.

33. Tiffany Haddish

In August 2020, while interviewing Dr Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to the US president, the actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish revealed she had Covid-19 "around three months ago".

Haddish, who said she contracted the virus on a film set, said she did not feel any symptoms, but was told she had antibodies while testing.

"I wasn’t in direct contact with them, but they sent all of us home and stopped the movie," she told Fauci. "Then they suggested that I go get tested. I went and got tested, got the results two days later, they said I did not have the coronavirus.

"Then someone else I know who was around the week before, they contracted the coronavirus and so I went and got tested again… Anyway, I get the test, I’m not feeling any symptoms or anything, it comes back two days later and they say I did have the virus.”

34. Laila Taher

Egyptian actress Laila Taher tested positive for Covid-19 in July 2021. EPA

The veteran Egyptian actress' Covid-19 infection was revealed by talk show personality Mahmoud Saad.

In July last year, in an episode of Bab Al Khalk, broadcast on Egypt’s Al Nahar television station, Saad revealed Laila Taher, 79, cancelled a recent appearance on the show after falling ill with Covid-19.

"We had an appointment with the great artist Laila Taher and when I spoke to her she said 'I got corona,’" Saad said, urging viewers to adhere to safety measures. "This shows that this journey is not easy. While a lot of people are recovering from this, some remain unwell."

The actress' name immediately trended on Twitter in Egypt following the programme, prompting her to issue a statement, assuring fans she was fine.

"I am feeling better and I experienced this about a month ago. I went to the hospital immediately and then I stayed home [in quarantine] for 10 days and I realised the situation wasn't getting better so I transferred back to the hospital,” she said, appearing on the show Al Tasse’ah.

"I sincerely just want to thank those who helped me in the treatment and getting me to hospital. I want to thank all the doctors and nurses at the Sheikh Zayed Hospital for not only their medical and humane treatment for all their patients. Without them, I wouldn’t have recovered so quickly.”

35. Ayman Reda

Ayman Reda, 58, announced his Covid-19 infection in the most creative way. In July last year, while in isolation, a relaxed Reda jumped on TikTok with his oud and performed a reworked version of Waji' Chocolata wa Tam’ina. Translated to “pass the chocolate among us to relish", the song was first sung by his character Abu Leila in the 1992 hit Syrian sit-com Abu Janti 1. On the video-sharing platform, Reda sang the chorus online and replaced the word “chocolate”, with “corona”.

Born to an Iraqi father and Syrian mother, Reda, whose rich baritone helped him first achieve success, went on to star in a range of topical and quirky comedy-dramas exploring various nuances of Syrian society.

36. Lena Dunham

The actress and creator of the acclaimed show Girls, shared her "intense" struggle while living with a Covid-19 infection in July 2020. Likening it to "a rave gone wrong", Lena Dunham said in a lengthy Instagram post that she tested positive in March, with her early symptoms being including "achy joints, a high fever and crushing fatigue”.

“Suddenly my body simply… revolted. The nerves in my feet burned and muscles wouldn’t seem to do their job. My hands were numb. I couldn’t tolerate loud noises," she said. "I couldn’t sleep but I couldn’t wake up. I lost my sense of taste and smell. A hacking cough, like a metronome keeping time. Inability to breathe after simple tasks like getting a glass of water. Random red rashes. A pounding headache right between my eyes.

"It felt like I was a complex machine that had been unplugged and then had my wires rerouted into the wrong inputs. This went on for 21 days."

Dunham said she was lucky to have good friends and "exceptional healthcare" and urged everyone to be sensible.

"When you take the appropriate measures to protect yourself and your neighbours, you save them a world of pain,” she wrote.

37. Ye

Ye's Covid-19 infection was a scary time, said his ex-wife Kim Kardashian. Reuters

They may no longer be together, but it was Kim Kardashian who shared about her ex husband's "scary" experience with Covid-19. Ye, formerly Kanye West, tested positive in March 2020, Kardashian told Vogue later that year.

“Kanye had it way at the beginning, when nobody really knew what was going on. I had my four babies and no one else in the house to help,” she said. “I had to go and change his sheets and help him get out of bed when he wasn’t feeling good. It was a challenge because it was so unknown. Changing his sheets with gloves and a face shield was really a scary time.”

Kardashian filed for divorce in February last year after almost seven years of marriage. The couple have four children together – North, 8, Saint, 5, Chicago, 3, and Psalm, 2.

38. Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian only revealed that she got Covid-19 months later, in an episode of her reality show. Reuters

For a family whose life has been sort of an open book, Kim Kardashian's Covid-19 diagnosis was only revealed months later, in an episode of their long-running reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians. In an episode in May last year, it's shown that Kardashian had contracted the virus some time in late 2020, forcing production on the show to be halted for 14 days.

While an article on Buzzfeed claimed that the Kardashian likely contracted the virus at her infamous 40th birthday celebration, which prompted a backlash in the middle of the pandemic, the beauty mogul was quick to dismiss those claims.

"Nobody caught Covid from the trip. Saint was the first to have it in our family and he caught it from school from another student who tested positive first," she posted on Twitter in May 2021.

39. Idris Elba

Although he and his wife were asymptomatic, Idris Elba said their Covid-19 diagnosis was a "mentally traumatic" experience. The Luther star and his wife Sabrina Dhowre announced they had tested positive for coronavirus in March 2020, and urged his fans to "stay home and be pragmatic".

In an interview with Esquire last year, Elba admits he thought he might die while living with the virus.

“Having Covid at the time I got it, it was very, very early in its cycle. I could have easily been a statistic: went to a hospital and lungs failed and that’s the end of it. Very easily. I’ve had friends whose families have died," he said.

40. Marianne Faithfull

British singer Marianne Faithfull spent months in the ICU with Covid-19. EPA

One year after her near-death experience with Covid-19, Marianne Faithfull, 74, released her 21st solo album, She Walks in Beauty, in April last year. But the celebrated singer almost didn't make it, spending months in intensive care at a London hospital.

“All I know is that I was in a very dark place – presumably, it was death," she told The Guardian in January 2021.

Faithfull's musical collaborator Warren Ellis told the newspaper "she wasn’t actually meant to make it through”.

“That she survived it – it’s insane," he said.

In a separate interview with Vogue, Faithfull said she's still suffering from the after-effects of the infection.

“What I have … is called long-term Covid," she said. "It means you don’t have the virus any more – you’re better, but you’re left with this payback: my lungs, my memory and my fatigue. But my doctor says that in six months or a year, I will get better."

41. Elton John

Despite being vaccinated and boosted, singer Sir Elton John contracted Covid-19, it was announced on January 25, and is postponing two farewell concert dates in Dallas, Texas.

Sir Elton “is experiencing only mild symptoms”, a statement from the artist's team said. “Elton and the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour look forward to returning to the stage shortly.”

Elton John had to cancel shows in Dallas, Texas because of his Covid diagnosis. Getty Images

The singer of classic hits such as Tiny Dancer and Candle in the Wind was due to hit the American Airlines Centre stage in Dallas on January 25 and January 26.

"It's always a massive disappointment to move shows and I'm so sorry to anyone who's been inconvenienced by this but I want to keep myself and my team safe," Sir Elton wrote on Instagram.

Updated: January 26, 2022, 10:13 AM
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