Idris Elba went Live on Twitter Tuesday evening (March 17) to field some questions from fans about his Coronavirus diagnosis. The film star and artist shared that he had tested positive for the virus on Monday (March 16).
Despite having none of the Coronavirus symptoms — which include shortness of breath, fever and coughing, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — Elba made the decision to get tested.
“On Friday, last week (March 13), I was told that someone that I had been in contact with had tested positive,” he told his followers during the Live session. “I’m on location, about to start filming, and this news breaks... So, it was definitely something that I had to do, as I was about to start filming and [be] around a lot of people... It meant putting a ton of people at risk, if I had been exposed.”
Elba didn’t disclose who he had been in contact with that had been diagnosed with Coronavirus, although he did say it was a person “in the public eye.”
“From my perspective, it was the best thing to do — to get immediately tested,” he continued. “I wasn’t showing any symptoms, but I’m very glad that I made that decision.”
Elba also recognized that he was fortunate to obtain a prompt diagnosis, as Coronavirus tests are expensive and in limited supply. Since being diagnosed, he’s been staying at home with his wife Sabrina Dhowre. He added that the pair “took a calculated risk as a couple to be together” during his quarantine time.
Unfortunately, the 47-year-old actor suffers from asthma, which he’s concerned will be a complication while he fights off Coronavirus.
“I have asthma, so I sort of fit in the high category of most at risk,” he said. “I have a respiratory issue, I’ve had asthma all my life so… you know, catching Corona was definitely not on my bucket list at all.”
Despite his asthma, Elba says he’s “feeling ok” and hasn’t suffered through any of the common symptoms.
“My temperature is fine, I don’t have a fever... I haven’t been coughing too much,” he said. “In general, I have been feeling ok.”
During the Live, Elba also said that Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson’s transparency about their positive Coronavirus diagnoses inspired him to reveal his own to the world. Furthermore, Elba discouraged social media users’ propelling of conspiracy theories and misinformation about the pandemic.
“Please stop sending the conspiracy theory nonsense about Black people not being able to to get Coronavirus,” he said. “It’s dumb, it’s silly [and] it’s very dangerous... not just [for] Black people, but [for] everyone.”
“There are so many weird conspiracy theories going around... Now is not the time,” he continued. “People need to know facts and understand the truth so that they can protect themselves. The more we can understand the facts, the better we can deal with it.”
See Elba’s full Twitter Live session below and stay informed about Coronavirus on the CDC website.