Tom Hanks Reaches out to Bullied 8-Year-Old Boy Named Corona Amid Ongoing Pandemic

Tom Hanks, who fought the coronavirus in Australia with wife Rita Wilson after they tested positive for the coronavirus last month, struck an unlikely friendship with a Queensland boy with an unfortunate name. Hanks heard about 8-year-old Corona De Vries, who was bullied at school because of his name. Hanks sent Corona more than just encouraging words in a letter. He also sent Corona the Corona-brand typewriter he had with him while in quarantine.

After Hanks and Wilson returned to the U.S., Corona, whose parents named him after the outermost later of the sun, wrote a letter to Hanks. "I heard on the news you and your wife had caught the coronavirus," Corona wrote, reports Australia's 7News. "Are you ok? I love my name but at school people call me the coronavirus. I get very sad and angry when people call me this."

Corona sent the letter on April 6, and just received a reply from Hanks this week. Hanks typed a letter to Corona, telling the young boy he and Wilson "feel so wonderful." He also thanked Corona for the letter and noted that he saw Corona's story on television. "Even though I was no longer sick, getting your letter made me feel even better," Hanks wrote. "You know, you are the only person I've ever known to have the name Corona — like the ring around the sun, a crown."

Hanks' letter was packed with the same typewriter the Toy Story actor shared a picture of on Instagram on March 17. "I thought this type writer would suit you," Hanks wrote. "I had taken it to the Gold Coast, and now, it is back — with you. Ask a grown up how it works. And use it to write me back." Hanks also added in his handwriting, "You got a friend in me."


Hanks and Wilson were among the first American celebrities to contract the coronavirus. The couple spent five days in quarantine at a Queensland hospital before spending more time at a home in Australia. They later returned to the U.S. and Hanks hosted Saturday Night Live's first remote episode on April 11. He joked about being the "celebrity canary in the coal mine" and said it was the first time he wore anything other than sweatpants since March 11.

In a recent interview with Military Defense Radio, Hanks said Wilson had a "tougher time than I did" with the coronavirus, adding "She had a much higher fever. She had lost her sense of taste and sense of smell. She got absolutely no joy from food for a better part of three weeks." Wilson felt "so nauseous, she had to crawl on the floor from the bed to the facilities," Hanks said, reports Good Morning America. He said he had "bad body aches" and felt "very fatigued."