Idris Elba is the latest celebrity to come forward with a positive diagnosis for the novel coronavirus. As people around the world practice their social distancing amid the global spread of COVID-19, the actor took to Twitter on Monday (March 16) to talk candidly about his own diagnosis.
Despite not showing any symptoms, Elba says he went to get tested after being "exposed to someone who had also tested positive." His wife Sabrina, seen sitting alongside him in the video, has not yet been tested, but Elba assures the public that they're both doing "OK" and quarantining themselves.
"Look, this is serious," he says. "Now's the time to really think about social distancing and washing your hands. Beyond that, there are people out there who aren’t showing symptoms and can easily spread it... We’ve told our families, who are very supportive. We’ve told our colleagues. Transparency is probably the best thing for this right now."
The Cats star also urges everyone to do their part in slowing the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — a droplet vector virus that's transmittable through coughing, sneezing, and any droplet from the human body. While older people and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk for serious cases, young and otherwise healthy people can also be carriers of the virus and transmit it to others. That's why it's crucial to protect yourself and — most importantly — those around you by doing as Elba says: "Washing your hands and keeping your distance."
"We live in a divided world right now and we can all feel it," he says. "But now is the time for solidarity and now is the time for thinking about each other."
And now is also the time to "stay positive," he adds. "And don't freak out."
You can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Not everyone has the option to stay at home, but if you can, you should! Social distancing is the new normal, and we’re here to help.