America's dad just gave us one more important reason to wear a mask. Speaking three months after his experience with COVID-19, Tom Hanks described what his coronavirus symptoms were like in the hopes that it would help serve as a wake-up call to those who doubt the seriousness of this pandemic. Both Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for COVID-19 back in March and were quarantined for two weeks in Australia. Thankfully, the two of them have managed to come out on the other side in good health, but that didn't make the illness itself any less scary.
"We had very different reactions, and that was odd," Hanks recalled in a new interview with The Guardian. "My wife lost her sense of taste and smell, she had severe nausea, she had a much higher fever than I did. I just had crippling body aches, I was very fatigued all the time and I couldn’t concentrate on anything for more than about 12 minutes." None of those symptoms sound like fun, yet the actor admitted that he remained fairly calm throughout their stint at the hospital.
However, what truly throws him for a loop is the way that many people in the U.S. have responded to the virus and chosen to handle social distancing — or rather to ignore it. "There’s really only three things everyone needs to do: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands," he continued. "I know societally it’s been politicized, but I don’t get it, man. I don’t understand how anyone can put their foot down and say: ‘I don’t have to do my part.’” And when asked if he thinks the country's reaction is a reflection of poor leadership, he added: “Well, I must say, I grew up looking to our leaders for calm and informed guidance and I don’t think we’ve got that."
This isn't the first time Hanks has spoken out against those who refuse to wear masks. At a June 30 press conference, as reported by People, the Oscar winner gave the public a very stern talking to in his best dad voice about the importance of protective covering and social distancing. "Those things are so simple, so easy," he said, "if anybody cannot find it in themselves to practice those three very basic things – I just think shame on you."
With coronavirus cases in the U.S. continuing to increase on a daily basis, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel; however, America's dad did offer up some powerful words of advice and inspiration while rounding out his interview with The Guardian. "Between Covid-19, worldwide economic disaster, what happened to George Floyd — the great reckoning that we’re all going through," Hanks stated. "What do we have that we can have faith in? Well, we can have an understanding of yesterday, we can have a plan for today and we can have hope for forever, and that’s it. That’s my wisdom." And it's wisdom definitely worth listening to.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC or NHS 111 in the UK for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here, and UK-specific updates on coronavirus here.