Coronavirus: Some celebrities, politicians, sportspersons who have battled COVID-19

Aparupa Mazumder
Saturday, 25 July 2020

“There were a couple of hours where I was within a whisper of a very dark place” – Stewart Boyle, survivor.

Stewart Boyle, 64, choir member from Sussex, was assertive of catching the novel coronavirus as a lot of other members had contracted the flu. The worst nightmare soon came true, and he had to be immediately hospitalised for the same. He felt like an old man out of breath after climbing up the stairs, couldn’t move even for a short span of time and had started to come in terms with the lost battle soon enough. But he had the will to live. With ten days of intensive care at the hospital and resilience, Stewart recovered from the pandemic which has taken a toll across the globe.

COVID-19 has been the highly unprecedented reality of the year 2020. A flu-like infection causing virus which was first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan has today reached the farthest corners and thinnest allies around the world. As many as 215 political boundaries have been affected by this highly contagious virus, ransacking the health, education, economic and business realms amongst others. So much so that even the star-studded entertainment industry, the highly efficient political realm and the sports industry known for maintaining the fitness iota haven’t been able to protect themselves from the virus, to which almost half a million people have already succumbed.

Many famous actors, models, singers, artists, politicians and sportspeople have tested positive for the virus over the past few months in which it became widespread to become a pandemic, some of whom could not survive even after getting intensive care. On the other hand, many other known faces who got contaminated by the virus fought it fearlessly and won the battle in the end.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson: Every film aficionado must love the inspiring “run Forrest, run” scene from the classic Forrest Gump and also the actor who played the lead. Tom Hanks has left an incredible mark in the history of cinema with stellar performances over the years. When he broke the news of testing positive for the coronavirus along with his wife Rita Wilson while shooting in Australia, it was heart-breaking for many movie buffs.

 

 

The couple was one of the first celebrities to get the virus from the entertainment industry. He took to his Instagram account on March 12 to inform his fans about testing positive and staying under self-isolation. Post recovery, he described his feelings like “canary in a coal mine” and Rita said she had never felt such chills before. The couple has discussed at length about their whole experience with the virus and the path which led to recovery. They have also donated blood samples for research purposes and have fully recovered now. 

Daniele Rugani and Blaise Matuidi: For a sportsperson to get the flu is something uncommon because they’re known for maintaining fitness and healthy routine. But the COVID-19 infection reached the sports industry within a blink of an eye. Hundreds of footballers have already gotten the virus. Juventus defender Daniele Rugani was amongst the first footballers to get diagnosed with the virus on March 11, followed by midfielder Blaise Matuidi on March 18. The club later notified that both the players have recovered from the infection.  

Kanika Kapoor: Kanika Kapoor’s test results started a much controversial debate on the amount of attention being paid to the graveness of the global pandemic. The Bollywood singer picked up the virus from London and visited multiple public gatherings in Lucknow and Mumbai even after being asked to stay quarantined. The UP Police had charged her for negligence. She first tested positive for the virus on March 20 and since then has tested positive five consecutive times. However, the 41-year-old singer was later discharged after recovering completely. 

Prince Charles: The 71-year-old Prince of Wales and heir to the Royal throne of Britain tested positive for the virus on March 26. He spent self-isolation for a week in Scotland, where he was treated privately. His symptoms were mild, and he recovered soon. The prince made his first appearance after recovery through a video message where he expressed sympathy towards those who lost their lives while battling this contagious virus and talked about “better times to come.” 

 

 

“Before this, nature has just been pushed to the peripheries, we’ve exploited and dug up and cut down everything as if there was no tomorrow as if it doesn’t matter,” he said. 

Boris Johnson: After the Prince, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson combated COVID-19. The unprecedented news of the British PM testing positive for the coronavirus came on March 27. After remaining under self-isolation for nine days, Johnson had to be admitted to the hospital. After three days on intensive care unit support, the British PM was discharged from the hospital. He has recovered from the infection and resumed official work. 

 

 

Madonna: The ‘Papa don’t Preach’ fame, all-time pop sensation who’s also known for her vocal social media content for speaking up against unjust wrongdoings, Madonna got infected while touring for ‘Madame X.’ The 61-year-old singer revealed on an Instagram post that she fell sick while touring in Paris. She recovered soon as the symptoms were mild, but rumours about her worsened condition led her to write a post on May 6 stating, “Just to clear things up for people who would rather believe sensationalist headlines than do their own research about the nature of this virus – I am not currently sick.” The artist also donated US$ 1.1 million for research related to COVID-19 vaccine. 

Jyotiraditya Scindia: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and his mother Madhavi Raje Scindia were admitted to the hospital on June 9 after showing mild symptoms of the virus. Sources confirmed to news agency PTI that Scindia and his mother tested positive for COVID-19. The BJP MP representing Madhya Pradesh was formerly a part of Indian National Congress. The mother-son duo has now recovered. 

Shahid Afridi: Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi took to Twitter to break the news on June 13. In his tweet, the Pakistani all-rounder said he tested positive for the virus and had a bad body pain. Afridi was one of the first high-profile cricketers belonging to have tested positive for COVID-19. Later on, many in the current Pakistan squad tested positive for the virus. 

 

 

Ever since Afridi’s tweet, a truckload of false began surfacing on Twitter regarding his deteriorating health condition. Afridi later posted a video in order to clear the air about his health which in fact got better by the day. “Wanted to make this video as I have been hearing a lot about my health on social media since the past few days. First 2-3 days were tough for me, but my condition has been improving. I miss my children, miss hugging them, but it is important to take precautions,” the cricketer said in a live video posted on Facebook. 

A few days later, Bangladeshi star cricketer, Mashrafe Mortaza tested positive for the virus.

Novak Djokovic: Tennis enigma Novak Djokovic and his wife Jelena Djokovic tested positive for the virus during the Adria tour. The tour which was in fact conducted to raise charity for Coronavirus victims has been receiving backlash from many for not maintaining social distancing norms, usage of masks, etc. Even Djokovic faced a lot of flak from his fans for his lack of responsibility and maturity. He was criticised for organising the tour during an on-going pandemic. He later apologised for his lack of judgment. During the second trial, the couple tested negative for the virus. 

Bachchan Family: The news of Amitabh Bachchan and son Abhishek testing positive for coronavirus was probably the most unprecedented news from the entertainment industry. Both Amitabh (77) and Abhishek Bachchan (44) tested positive for the virus on July 11 and were admitted to the hospital immediately where they have been isolating themselves. The very next day, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and her daughter Aaradhya also tested positive for the virus and had been home quarantined. Only after they showed certain symptoms, the mother-daughter duo was admitted to hospital. The family is still recovering.  

 

 

Several other notable personalities have battled this virus that has brought the world to a standstill. The Aam Admi Party (AAP) MLA Atishi Marlena, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Israel’s Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, British Health Minister Matt Hancock, UK Member of Parliament Nadine Dorries, Canadian Prime Minister’s wife Sophie Trudeau, Spanish Prime Minister’s wife Begona Gomez, New York Knicks owner James Dolan, NBA star Kevin Durant, Arsenal coach Mikel Artera, jazz musician Manu Dibango, pop singer Pink, are several other prominent figures who have struggled and shared their experiences with the novel coronavirus. As the count of active cases keeps increasing with every passing day taking the death toll higher, the world awaits a vaccine which will supposedly bring an end to this tyranny in the form of a pandemic. 

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