Rita Wilson Reflects on COVID-19 Fight in One Year Later Instagram Post

This week sees many of the one-year anniversaries related to the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., including the first time major celebrities announced their positive tests. In March 2020, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson announced they tested positive after landing in Australia, where Hanks was set to start filming an Elvis Presley biopic. Wilson reflected on the one-year anniversary Sunday, recalling how she began feeling the symptoms of COVID-19 the day after she performed at the Sydney Opera House on March 7, 2020.

"One year ago today I was playing the Sydney Opera House... the next day started feeling very tired and achy, two days later hospitalized with Covid 19," Wilson, 64, wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of herself with Hanks, 64, in the hospital last year. "I want to take a moment to say how grateful we are for our health, how thankful we are for the medical care we got in Queensland, and that we share in the sorrow of each person who lost a loved one to this virus. I’m hopeful for so many being able to get the vaccine."

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Wilson later noted that she does not "take for granted" that she can still create music through Zoom and safe recording. She even recorded a new song, "Hello World" with Brazillian musicians Claudia Leille and Raja Kumari. "Music has been very healing this year. So thankful for that, too," Wilson concluded.

Hanks and Wilson became the first major American celebrities to announce they tested positive for the coronavirus when they did so on March 11, 2020. The two contracted the virus in Australia where Hanks was set to film Baz Luhrmann's Presley movie, in which Hanks plays Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

"We felt a bit tired like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too," the couple announced last year. "To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive." Hanks and Wilson both made a full recovery and donated blood to COVID-19 research. Hanks went on to host the first Saturday Night Live at Home episode on April 11, 2020, filming an opening monologue from his home.


During a September 2020 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Wilson called her experience with the virus "extremely painful" and it "wasn't a walk in the park." Wilson went on to explain, "First you thought, 'Oh, I've got a fever,' but the chills then added onto that, those were really tough, and [my] body aching enormously, way more than the flu. Then, when we were hospitalized, our temperature was being monitored, our organs were being monitored, our blood was being monitored. We were a little bit concerned that we didn't realize it was going to be as serious as it was."

After recovering from the illness, Hanks was allowed to go back to work on the Presley movie. Since the production was delayed, Warner Bros. changed its release date to June 3, 2022. The movie will star Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actor Austin Butler as Presley.