Idris Elba's Coronavirus Update Is A Reminder On How To Break The Stigma

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After announcing he tested positive for COVID-19 on March 16, Idris Elba gave a coronavirus update in a Periscope live on Tuesday, March 17, to let everyone know how he's doing. The actor is currently quarantined and said that not only does he feel fine (he isn't experiencing any symptoms), he's thankful he was lucky enough to get tested. He also took the opportunity to explain why he decided to go public with his diagnosis.

As Elba explained in the 18-minute video, he believes having an open discussion and being transparent is beneficial. Not only is talking about having the coronavirus helping him cope, but he hopes it will help break the stigma that comes with the virus. "I'm worried that people aren't talking to each other about it," he said. "I'm worried that people are going to stigmatize other people. I'm worried that we're going to panic and send the whole world into a spin."

And though he understands that this is a time of uncertainty and many people are, of course, scared, including himself, not talking about it isn't exactly an effective way to cope. In fact, Elba is urging others to be vocal, especially those who have tested positive for COVID-19. According to the actor, now is the time to open up about the virus and "to stay optimistic about what we're going through."

During his chat, Elba also explained that his wife, Sabrina Dhowre Elba, had also been tested, though she has not yet received the results, and that the two of them have been spending time in quarantine playing video games. He even asked fans for suggestions on what games they should try out next.

But the main core of his message was that now is a time when people have to come together. The coronavirus is a global pandemic, as classified by the World Health Organization, which means it's going to impact everyone. And when people like Elba and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson discuss the coronavirus, they normalize the conversation and make others feel less alone.

As Elba said during his live broadcast, "This virus is ridiculously unfortunate, but at the same time, I think it might be an opportunity for us to stop, just think about what's going on in our world, think about the energies that we're putting out to each other, because this disease doesn't see any borders or doesn't discriminate."

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and coughing, call NHS 111 in the UK or visit the CDC website in the U.S. for up-to-date information and resources. You can find all Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here, and UK-specific updates on coronavirus here.