King of the British rom-com Hugh Grant revealed this week that he'd personally had a rough old time of it throughout the coronavirus pandemic, catching the virus himself earlier this year, and suffering "embarrassing" symptoms to boot. Oh dear.
Speaking to presenter Stephen Colbert on The Late Show on Tuesday night, the actor shared for the first time that he'd been struck down by COVID-19 in the early days of the UK crisis, back in February. His wife Anna Eberstein, who he lives with in London, also caught it.
"We have antibodies, I’m rather proud of them," said Hugh. "I got it in February, I had an antibody test only a month ago and I still have those antibodies, so I know that’s what it was."
Although it seems the Bridget Jones actor is in good health now, appearing on the TV show via video link, the sickness didn't sound fun at the time. "It started as just a very strange syndrome where I kept breaking into a terrible sweat. It was like a poncho of sweat, embarrassing really," he described. "Then my eyeballs felt about three sizes too big. Then this feeling that an enormous man was sitting on my chest, Harvey Weinstein or someone," he added.
As it was fairly early days of the pandemic, Hugh Grant wasn't sure what was wrong with him to begin with. "Then I was walking down the street one day and thought I can’t smell a damn thing," he recalled, adding that he started "to panic," because by then people had been starting to talk about loss of smell and taste as a symptom of coronavirus.
"I started sniffing flowers, nothing…" said the actor. "You get more and more desperate, I started sniffing in garbage cans. You want to sniff strangers’ armpits because you just can’t smell anything.
"I went home and sprayed my wife’s Chanel No.5 directly into my face, couldn’t smell a thing… I did go blind," he joked.
The key symptoms of COVID-19 have evolved since the spread of the virus first began. Now, the World Health Organisation lists most distinctive indicators as a fever, a dry cough, and tiredness. Other known symptoms, which are slightly less common than the three main ones, include loss of taste or smell, aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhoea and a headache.
Embarrassing symptoms aside, the main thing is that Hugh and his wife made a full recovery, allowing him to go on TV regale us all with the tale.
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