Balthazar Getty Reveals Bout with COVID in Early March: We Were 'Really Frightened'
Balthazar Getty is staying positive but, luckily, testing negative.
The actor-turned-DJ exclusively reveals to PEOPLE that he tested positive for coronavirus during the first week of March, just days after returning from his trip to Milan with French luxury designer Moncler. He has since recovered and continues to test positive for antibodies.
Although Getty says he isn't sure where he became infected, he believes he acquired the virus upon his return to Los Angeles. None of his family members, friends nor people he works with tested positive. ("A real miracle," he says.)
"I was a bit luckier in terms of my symptoms. I didn't have a terrible time nor a horrible cough," he tells PEOPLE, adding that he spent less than a week on bed rest. "I didn't need to be hospitalized. I was incredibly lucky in terms of that, but I did suffer quite a bit."
Getty, 45, says he spent two weeks quarantining in an extra bedroom where he had cold sweats, body aches and a fever that reached 101.5 degrees. The hardest part? Being away from his wife Rosetta and their children Cassius, 20, Grace, 18, Violet, 17, and June, 13.
"My wife and my kids were really frightened," he says. "Since I didn't have those extreme conditions, I was feeling a little bit more optimistic, but still really frightened. And there was so much, and there's still so much unknown."
The Lord of the Flies actor says he was tested every several days until he finally tested negative. He also admits how “lucky” his family is to have a place where he could social distance — a luxury many Americans don't have.
"I think that's one of the big problems and a reality," he says. "Many families just don't have that space. And people are sharing rooms and sharing smaller spaces, which makes it much more dangerous. It's still where people are contracting COVID the most, is in their homes."
However, he admits that spending time in isolation was definitely difficult on his mental health.
"I found myself getting pretty depressed," he says. "I mean, when you're alone, just in a bedroom for two weeks and not feeling well, it's easy to get in your head, so I definitely had to try to do things, whether it was reading or drawing or even working on some music on my laptop. It was to just try to get out of my head."
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After two weeks of quarantining, Getty finally tested positive for antibodies and negative for the virus. (He says he continues to test positive for antibodies today.)
"I got well pretty quickly, but definitely felt lethargic for some time and low energy. And I did have some kind of ringing in my ears and then some of those things that you hear," he says. "But, in general, I'm in good health."
Months after his COVID-19 scare Getty has a clear message: wear a mask.
"It's asking for so little. I wish it wasn't politicized," he says. "If the worst thing that you have to do to try to help this thing is to wear a mask when you go out, I don't think that's too much to ask."
"It's not about you. It's about other people," he adds. "And I think it's a way to show solidarity and togetherness. I hate it at times, too. And there are times I get frustrated with it. I understand that, but it's the right thing."
As for projects, he just dropped his first album. In September, Getty released his LP Balt VS Beats featuring 14 tracks — an album that's "perfect for now." Some of the tracks he even mastered and mixed as he quarantined.
"Vibey beats, sexy nighttime stuff, when you're hanging out with your friends or having a good time or in the car, sort of a soundtrack to your life [type of] record," he says about the mostly instrumental album. "I think it's a vibe."
Along with his music endeavors, Getty dropped a collaboration with Moncler in February. He mentions an animation project that he's "finishing up" and runs a clothing line called Monk Punk.
Balt VS Beats is out now.
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