Academy Award winner Tom Hanks, who became the first known celebrity to be infected with coronavirus, has opened up about his and wife Rita Wilson's road to recovery and the battle fought against coronavirus by the couple.
It was in early March when Hanks had publicly announced that he and his wife had become infected with the virus during their shooting in Australia. The two-time academy winner was in Australia for the production of a film based on the life of Elvis Presley.
Hanks plays the role of Colonel Tom Parker, the eccentric manager of the singer, who is known to have mentored Presley toward glory in the 1950s. A Warner Bros. production, the film is being directed by Baz Luhrmann, the shooting for which was set to begin on Monday. The film is slated for October 2021 release.
Hanks felt 'wiped out' due to COVID-19
The 63-year-old actor said in an interview with National Defense Radio Show that they were quarantined in the air-pressurized room of an Australian hospital and had 'some body aches and was very fatigued.'
"It was relatively early in Australia's response to the coronavirus, and they wanted us to not give it to anyone else. That's why we were in lockdown," Hanks explained about his quarantine in Australia.
Recalling his failed attempts at basic workout, Hanks said that he attempted a regular routine of sit-ups, stretches and floor exercises in the hospital. "I was wiped after 12 minutes. I laid down in my hospital bed and just slept," said Hanks.
"Whoever it was, a doctor or nurse, would come into our air pressurized, isolation rooms. She said, 'How are you feeling?' and I said, '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."
Hanks who returned to their home in Los Angeles, after two weeks of isolation in Australia said that most of the hospital isolation was required as monitoring precautions and ensuring they did not spread the disease to anyone else. Recently, Hanks hosted the first virtual episode of Saturday Night Live from his kitchen.
Hydroxychloroquine dosage made things worse
Revealing that his wife had more severe symptoms, Hanks said: "Rita went through a tougher time than I did. She had a much higher fever and she had some other symptoms. She lost her sense of taste and smell. She got absolutely no joy from food for a better part of three weeks."
Stating that the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine administered to Wilson for her high fever deteriorated her condition, Hanks said: "It led to powerful bouts of nausea. She was so nauseous she had to crawl on the floor from the bed to the facilities, and it lasted a while."
Recently, while speaking to Gayle King on CBS This Morning, Wilson spoke about hydroxychloroquine given to her as part of the coronavirus treatment. "They gave me chloroquine. I know people have been talking about this drug. But I can only tell you that – I don't know if the drug worked or if it was just time for the fever to break."
"My fever did break but the chloroquine had such extreme side effects, I was completely nauseous, I had vertigo and my muscles felt very weak ... I think people have to be very considerate about that drug," she had said.