The A-listers diagnosed with COVID-19 and what you can learn from their experiences

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect communities everywhere, with the number of new cases rising in parts of the world, even as they wind down in others, the world has been forced to rapidly adjust to a new normal.

But as people the world over are feeling the effects of school and business closures, work-from-home mandates, job loss, supply shortages, financial strain, and myriad other disruptions to normal life, the celebrity experience during the current health crisis has typically not been the universal experience.

Pictures and videos shared from mansions suggest a stark difference from the situations of the millions of workers who have lost their jobs since the onset of the pandemic.

But many celebrities have used their platforms to draw attention to crucial healthcare issues in this time of crisis. Here are some of the most high-profile celebrities who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, along with what their experiences tell us about the disease.


Quantum of Solace actress Olga Kurylenko announced her COVID-19 diagnosis on Instagram, noting that her main symptoms at the time were fatigue and a fever.

What you can learn: In a March 18 Instagram post, Kurylenko posted a list of vitamins and supplements she had been taking to boost her immune system in the fight against the virus, including curcumin and vitamin C. The WHO has noted that there is no known cure for the coronavirus; if you are taking supplements to boost your immune system, keep in mind that because this is an entirely new coronavirus, there is insufficient scientific evidence to suggest that these supplements, including vitamin D, will actually prevent you from contracting COVID-19.


Tom Hanks took fans by surprise with a photo’s caption, which announced that Hanks and his wife, singer and actress Rita Wilson, had tested positive for COVID-19 while in Australia.

“Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no?” he wrote, adding that he and Wilson would be “tested, isolated, and observed for as long as public health and safety require.”

What you can learn: In 2013, Hanks revealed on David Letterman’s Late Show that he had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Living with diabetes means that you are more susceptible to serious complications from COVID-19, notes the American Diabetes Association, so individuals with this condition should exercise extra caution against this new virus.


On March 21, Younger actress Debi Mazar revealed on Instagram that she had been diagnosed with COVID-19 after displaying symptoms including a fever and body aches. Mazar’s initial test for the flu came back negative, while a subsequent test revealed the actress actually had COVID-19.

What you can learn: Mazar’s COVID-19 symptoms were not limited to fever, fatigue, and a dry cough, which are the three main symptoms of the disease, according to the WHO. She also shared that she experienced loss of taste.

Scientists believe that anosmia, which is a lack of smell, and dysgeusia, which is a lack of taste, are temporary symptoms of COVID-19. Following a statement from the American Academy of Otolaryngology, which called for these signs to be included among existing screening tools for the disease, the CDC added both to its list of coronavirus symptoms.


The British actor Idris Elba revealed his COVID-19 diagnosis on Twitter on March 16, along with a brief video explaining the situation to fans. “I didn’t have any symptoms,” he said. “I got tested because I realised I had been exposed to someone who had also tested positive.”

What you can learn: Asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 such as Elba’s are not unusual; according to an article published in March 2020 in Nature, estimates for the number of asymptomatic cases vary from about 20 to 60 per cent across various demographics and locations, though the CDC’s current best guess is that 35 per cent of people carrying the virus are asymptomatic. Asymptomatic carriers may go on to develop symptoms and can still transmit the disease through viral shedding while asymptomatic, according to a February 2020 joint report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and China.


A statement released by Clarence House, where Prince Charles resides, confirmed that the heir to the British throne tested positive for COVID-19 on March 26.

What you can learn: At age 71, the prince is considered to be at a higher risk for severe coronavirus-related illness, as per CDC guidelines. A study of over 70,000 COVID-19 cases in China, published in February 2020 in the Journal of the American Medical Society, found that the case fatality rate for those between age 70 and 79 was around eight per cent; that rate jumped to nearly 15 per cent in people age 80 and older.