Idris Elba Describes Traumatic Impact Coronavirus Diagnosis Had On His Mental Health

The actor and his wife Sabrina Dhowre tested positive for COVID-19 in March.

Idris Elba has spoken about the traumatic effect his coronavirus diagnosis had on his mental health.

Back in March, Elba was one of the first high-profile stars to disclose that they had tested positive for COVID-19. And while the “Luther” star has said that he was asymptomatic, so didn’t feel the physical effects that many others with coronavirus have experienced, the illness did take its toll on him mentally.

“I was asymptomatic so I didn’t get the major symptoms everyone else got,” he told Radio Times. “Mentally, it hit me very bad, because a lot was unknown about it.

Idris Elba at the "Cats" premiere last year.
Idris Elba at the "Cats" premiere last year.
ANGELA WEISS via Getty Images

Elba continued: “I felt very compelled to speak about it, just because it was such an unknown. So the mental impact of that on both myself and my wife was pretty traumatic.”

Elba said that ultimately he needed the lockdown in order to get over it.

“And it turns out the world actually probably needed the lockdown, too,” he added.

Elba shared his diagnosis days after Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson also spoke about having tested positive for COVID-19, admitting that the Oscar-winning star had motivated him to speak publicly about the illness.

“I’m really proud of Tom Hanks, who is also someone in the public eye, who came out and said they have it and been public about it,” he told his Twitter followers during a lockdown Q&A. “I was definitely motivated by Tom’s move there.”

Read Idris’ full interview in the new issue of Radio Times, out now.

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