Tom Hanks on his experience with Covid-19: 'I had crippling body aches and was fatigued all the time'

The American actor and his wife, Rita Wilson, were two of the first famous figures to reveal they had caught the coronavirus

Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, tested positive for the coronavirus in March. Reuters
Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, tested positive for the coronavirus in March. Reuters

Tom Hanks has described his experience with Covid-19, which he contracted in Australia in mid-March.

“I had crippling body aches, I was very fatigued all the time and I couldn’t concentrate on anything for more than about 12 minutes,” the actor told The Guardian. “That last bit is kind of like my natural state anyway,” he said, with a laugh.

Both Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, tested positive for the coronavirus while the actor was filming an Elvis Presley biopic in Queensland, Australia. They were among the first famous figures to reveal they had the virus, making them “the celebrity canaries in the coalmine of all things Covid-19”, he says.

Hanks noted that their symptoms did not last for more than two weeks. However, he did say that he and his wife had very different reactions to the coronavirus.

“And that was odd. 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.

Hanks said he remained calm throughout the experience, although he was aware that, aged 63 and with type 2 diabetes and a stent in his heart, he was a high-risk case.

“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. 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 said.

Earlier this month, the Cast Away star made a plea to Americans who refuse to wear face masks.

“There’s really only three things we can do in order to get to tomorrow: wear a mask, social distance, wash our hands,” the actor said at a press conference for the film Greyhound, which will be released on Apple TV+.

“Those things are so simple, so easy, if anybody cannot find it in themselves to practise those three very basic things – I just think: shame on you,” he said.

Updated: July 7, 2020 09:52 PM

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