Tom Hanks said his wife Rita Wilson "went through a tougher time" battling COVID-19 than he did

By Eric Todisco
April 19, 2020 12:00 PM
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Tom Hanks is offering more details about his experience with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

In a recent interview on The National Defense Radio Show, the actor, 63, recalled his and wife Rita Wilson‘s initial symptoms of the respiratory illness. “Rita went through a tougher time than I did,” he said of their recovery in Australia. “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.”

He later added, “She was so nauseous, she had to crawl on the floor from the bed to the facilities. It lasted a while.”

Hanks, who “had some body aches and was very fatigued,” also shared how he struggled to find the energy to do simple exercises. He and Wilson were placed in “lockdown for three days” in a local hospital.

“Whoever it was, doctor, nurse, would come into our air pressurized room, our 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,’ ” he recalled, adding that he was “wiped” after 12 minutes into a 30-min exercise.

“And she looked at me through her glasses like she was talking to the dumbest human being,” he joked. “And she said, ‘You have COVID-19.’ ”

Hanks said that he and Wilson, 63, still do not know when or how they got infected with the virus in Australia, where Hanks was shooting a film. The couple has since returned to Los Angeles after self-quarantining for two weeks and “have been isolated ever since.”

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Wilson similarly opened up about her COVID-19 experience to CBS This Morning host Gayle King last week. The actress said that among her initial symptoms were “chills like I’ve never had before.”

“Looking back, I also realized that I was losing my sense of taste and smell, which I didn’t realize at the time,” Wilson recalled, adding that her fever “got close to about 102 by day nine.”

She said that doctors gave her chloroquine, an immunosuppressive drug, which had “extreme side effects” on her. According to MedlinePlus, chloroquine is typically used to treat malaria.

“I was completely nauseous and I had vertigo,” Wilson recalled. “I could not walk and my muscles felt very weak. I think people have to be very considerate about that drug. We don’t know if it’s helpful in this case.”

Wilson said she and Hanks are now awaiting confirmation that their antibodies can help others infected with the virus.

“We recently had been part of a study where we donated our blood and we are waiting to hear back if our antibodies will be helpful in developing a vaccine,” she explained. “But also if we are able to donate plasma that can be used as donation to other people that are suffering from the virus because we are immune.”

Since returning to L.A., Hanks remotely hosted the first-ever Saturday Night Live at Home on April 11, while Wilson sang the National Anthem during NASCAR’s iRacing Pro Invitational Series Race earlier this month.