Sarah Hyland Opens Up About Being Immunocompromised During The COVID-19 Pandemic

by Jessica Wang
Sarah Hyland’s COVID-19 Panic Is “Pretty High” Due To Health Issues
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

As one Hollywood production after another shuts down because of coronavirus, Sarah Hyland reminded her fans of how their actions can affect others during the outbreak. During an episode of TV personality Brad Goreski’s podcast Brad Behavior, which airs on March 18, Hyland said that she's at high risk of contracting COVID-19 because she's immunocompromised. In the clip obtained by PEOPLE, she explained that her "panic level is pretty high" and urged people to stay in if they can.

In particular, Hyland discussed the coronavirus’ potential effects on her kidney dysplasia, a condition in which a baby’s kidneys do not develop properly while in the womb, per the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. “I am obviously immunocompromised with my transplant history and am on immunosuppressants, so everything in this house is sanitized,” Hyland told Goreski. She joked, “I just took a shot of hand sanitizer, so we’re good.”

Hyland went on to emphasize that while the coronavirus might feel like a bad cold for some people, it could be deadly for others. “Say someone gets a 24-hour bug, I get it for a week or more. For me, it’s really dangerous.” Though she's worried, she said that she was trying to remain calm since she has “a lot of health issues that are very susceptible to stress.”

After explaining that she's planning on staying home for the time being, the actor turned her attention to the young, healthy people who have raided grocery stores and pharmacies. “They’re leaving people over the age of 60, who may not have a child to do their shopping for them, left to their own devices,” she said. “I think it’s really an important time to practice compassion, love, generosity.”

Hyland has undergone 16 surgeries and two kidney transplants due to her kidney dysplasia. Her last transplant occurred in 2017. In an interview with Self in December 2018, Hyland reflected on the kidneys she received from her dad and later, her brother, and the tolls that it took on her mental health. “I was very depressed,” she said. “When a family member gives you a second chance at life, and it fails, it almost feels like it's your fault. It's not. But it does.”

Hyland has since found strength in work and family. “My work is my therapy,” she told Self. “I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my work, [and] I'm so grateful for my entire family, especially my brother, especially my dad, especially my mom."

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.