Idris Elba tested positive for coronavirus in March after not exhibiting any symptoms

By Alexia Fernandez
August 13, 2020 04:16 PM
Advertisement

Idris Elba's coronavirus diagnosis was scarier for the actor than he let on.

The 47-year-old actor's wife, Sabrina Dhowre Elba, told Grazia UK that their combined COVID-19 diagnoses left them terrified, saying, "At the time that we got sick, the media was pushing hard on how dangerous it was."

"At one point, Idris really thought that this could be the end," Dhowre Elba said. "He has asthma. He is older. It was really scary."

While the two recovered from the novel coronavirus, the experience left them looking at their lives through new perspectives.

"That kind of unsureness about what's coming next leaves you with a bit of anxiety," she said. "But having been sick and being okay also now gives you this new lease on life."

She added, "I want to be super appreciative of everything."

The Elbas were both diagnosed with coronavirus in March, with the actor revealing the news in a video he shared to Twitter, saying he "didn't have any symptoms" at the time.

Sabrina Dhowre and Idris Elba
Rich Fury/Getty

"I got tested because I had realized I got exposed to someone who had also tested positive. I found out last Friday that they were tested positive, I quarantined myself and got a test immediately and got results back today," he said.

That same month, the couple told Oprah Winfrey during her series Oprah Talks COVID-19 that Dhowre Elba made the decision to quarantine with her husband despite knowing she'd also contract the virus. Dhowre Elba also did not show any symptoms after testing positive.

“As soon as I heard that Idris was potentially exposed, I mean, I was on my way anyway, I wanted to be with him,” she said. “I think that’s an instinct as a wife. You just want to go and take care.”

“We didn’t change the way we interacted,” she added. “I could have made a decision to put myself maybe in a separate room or stay away, and I’m sure that people are making those decisions that are tough decisions to make. But I made the decision to be with him and still touch him.”

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson became another A-list couple who tested positive after contracting the virus while in Australia for Hanks' new movie.

Hanks, 64, has urged people to social distance and wear face masks while out in public. In June, the actor told reporters during a press conference for his movie Greyhound: "There’s really only three things we can do in order to get to tomorrow: Wear a mask, social distance, wash our hands."

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.