Ontario native and Broadway actor Nick Cordero’s courageous battle and death at 40 from COVID-19 reminds us the pandemic discriminates against no one. The virus has brought celebrities’ humanity into sharp focus. Here’s what we know so far about the coronavirus from their experiences.
1. COVID Can Spread Like Wildfire
There’s a reason chief public health officer Theresa Tam has been warning Canadians to keep their distance. Fifty-two of 65 guests at a Maine wedding reception Aug. 7 got sick. One died.
2. It Can Get Pretty Rough
Actor Tony Shalhoub’s portrayal of a germophobic homicide detective in Monk seems ironic now that he and wife Brooke Adams both tested positive. The couple came down with the virus in May and have since recovered. Shalhoub and Adams, who starred in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, had “a pretty rough few weeks,” but empathized that others had it far worse.
3. America Has Talents
Singer Rita Wilson got her rappin’ on when she and husband Tom Hanks got sick. The couple, both 63, were diagnosed in March while in Australia. They mustered through hospitalization and self-isolation, with Wilson, a singer, taking up rapping like son Chet during their down time. She says she was “Quarantine Stir Crazy” when she made the well-received music video.
4. COVID Can Strike Anywhere
Emmy Award winning actor Sharon Stone lost her godmother and grandmother to COVID-19. Her sister Kelly, who reports entertainment news for shows like Extra, and brother-in-law Bruce Singer have now come down with the virus. Stone says her sister travelled only to a pharmacy, yet still got sick. She blames people who refuse to wear masks for spreading the infection.
5. “This is Serious, You Know”
Idris Elba caught COVID in March from exposure to someone who tested positive. He immediately tweeted out that even those without obvious symptoms could spread the infection. The Hobbs & Shaw actor told vans via Twitter to stay vigilant. “Look, this is serious, you know? Now’s the time to really think about social distancing, washing your hands.” Elba played Nelson Mandela in Long Walk to Freedom.
6. Social Distancing Matters
L.A. Law and Goodfellas actor Debi Mazar was afflicted in March. She got sick with “an odd flu bug” in February. She was denied testing in March but persisted when the symptoms lingered. Her fever shot up to 39.1 C. Mazar wandered all over New York City before being diagnosed. She questions why social distancing didn’t go farther in the hard-hit metropolis. “Because we have Italian family in Italy and we follow the news closely, my biggest panic was why were they not closing schools in NYC & forbidding movement outside the home without permission, like China and all of Europe,” she wrote on Instagram.
7. The Children Come First
Next Top Model host Heidi Klum challenged ex-husband R&B singer Seal in court over her right to take their kids to Germany to film the hit TV show. She requested an emergency hearing when he disagreed with her decision to travel with the four kids, aged 10 to 16. Klum argued while the couple shares custody, she takes care of their children most of the time. Ontario family court has restricted hearings to mostly urgent matters or video conferencing since COVID started.
8. Age Is No Barrier
Lemon Tree singer Trini Lopez, 83, joined other aging celebrities who succumbed to COVID. Actor Lee Fierro, the enraged mom who slapped Roy Scheider in the face in Jaws (1975), died in an assisted living facility at 91. But while doctors originally thought older people would be especially hard hit, infants, preteens and young adults have also died from its complications. Dream Street fans lost singer Chris Trousdale, 34. New York City rapper Fred “Talking ‘Bout Money” the Godson passed away in April at 35.
9. We’re All in This Together
CNN host Chris Cuomo and wife Cristina, founder of lifestyle mag The Purist, showed us the meaning of we’re all in this together. The pair were sidelined with the infection early on. Togetherness is what Idris Elba credited with giving him the virus. He hinted he may have picked it up hugging former Canadian TV host Sophie Gregoire Trudeau. Elba and the wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who self isolated with her, put in an appearance at a WE charity event in London, Eng., in March. Prince Albert of Monaco and British counterpart Prince Charles were chagrined to admit they picked it up about the same time after both attended a WaterAid summit.
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