Jennifer Aniston Surprises Utah Nurse Who Contracted COVID-19: 'You're Just Phenomenal'
"I just have to say, God bless you and all of you that are out there doing what you're doing," the actress told the nurse and mom of two
Jennifer Aniston is showing her gratitude for the frontline workers in the pandemic.
On Thursday’s at-home episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, Aniston, 51, made a surprise split-screen appearance to thank a nurse from St. George, Utah, who is on furlough after contracting the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The medical worker, Kimball Fairbanks, has two daughters — ages 4 and 18 months old — and is currently quarantined.
“We wanted to cheer you up a little bit, so I’d like you to meet somebody. Her name is Jennifer,” Kimmel, 52, said before introducing the Morning Show actress.
“Hi, honey, it’s so good to meet you,” Aniston said after coming into frame on the video chat. “I just have to say, God bless you and all of you that are out there doing what you’re doing. I just, I don’t even know how to express my gratitude to everything that you guys are doing, putting your health at risk and all of that. You’re just phenomenal.”
“Well, thank you,” said a shocked Fairbanks. “I really appreciate that.”
Aniston made the star-studded talk show appearance even more memorable for the nurse by surprising her with a $10,000 gift card, courtesy of Postmates. The online food delivery service is also sending gift cards to the other nurses on Fairbanks’ floor at her hospital.
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Aniston also caught up with Kimmel separately to talk about how her self-isolation was going. The Friends star called herself agoraphobic, saying being ordered to stay at home isn’t “much of a challenge” for her.
“The most challenging thing is watching news and trying to digest [everything] that’s going on out there,” she said. “I allow a check-in in the morning and then I’ll do a check-in in the evening, and that is it because basically, it’s regurgitating the exact same thing.”
Aniston added that her newfound free time has amounted to plenty of chores. Her new “favorite thing in the world”? Doing the dishes, “because not only are you doing your dishes, but you’re washing your hands.” The star also said she keeps busy by re-organizing her home.
“I was a crazy person the first week, and then I realized I had to pull back because I was going to run out of closets,” she joked. “Thirty more days! I’ve got to pace myself.”
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Last month, Aniston helped pal Ellen DeGeneres come up with suggestions for ways to keep busy while sheltering in place — most of the tips relating to cleaning and tidying up.
“What are you doing?” DeGeneres, 62, asked during a phone call with Aniston shared on her Instagram.
“Well, not much different than the last time we spoke 30 minutes ago,” the actress said. “I’m actually still cleaning out my closet. That’s still happening.”
Replied the TV personality: “What else are you doing? We have to give people ideas!”
“Of things to do? Well, I do suggest a good spring clean right now while we’re at it,” Aniston said. “That can’t hurt.”
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. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.