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Kim — best known for his roles on TV shows such as Hawaii 5-0, Lost, Angel and The Good Doctor — shared a post on Instagram announcing his diagnosis.
“Hi everyone- yesterday I was diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Looks like I’ll be ok, but I wanted share my journey with you in the hopes that you find it informative or helpful,” he wrote, accompanied by a 10-minute video in which he details more of his experience. “Hope you all stay safe, calm, and above all, healthy.”
In his video, Kim said that he was “ironically” in New York shooting a TV series in which he plays a doctor who gets recruited to a hospital to help patients during a flu pandemic. It wasn’t long before production on the series was shut down because of the real-life coronavirus pandemic, and he was on a flight back to Hawaii to be with his family.
“Now it’s important for you guys to know that I was asymptomatic during all of this time. But as the flight was close to landing, I started noticing some scratchiness in my throat, which is unlike how I usually get sick,” he elaborated. “So when I landed, I called my family doctor in Hawaii and he told me to monitor my symptoms. To be safe, when I got home I quarantined myself in a room in the house and tried to rest on my own. But later that night, I started feeling tightness in my chest, body aches and my temperature started to rise.”
He continued, “So, he then told me to get tested. So the next day I went to a drive-thru testing facility that had just opened here in Honolulu…The test itself was really awkward and painful because they shove a huge swab into your nose and into your throat but it was worth it because of what I found out.”
Kim added that he never went to a hospital for treatment. “But with the help of medications and bed rest and liquids and, of course, my loving family, I didn’t need to,” he said. “I actually started feeling better the day after and I started feeling a little better the day after that. And today, even though I’m not 100 percent, I’m pretty close.”
Though he is on the mend, Kim reminded his followers that a person doesn’t have to be symptomatic to pass the virus to others. “Even though I’m smiling and upbeat right now, I was in bed for several days. So for all those out there, especially teenagers and millennials who think this is not serious, please know that it is,” he said. “And if you treat this without care, you are potentially endangering the lives of millions of people, including your loved ones. So, for the sake of everyone else, please follow the guidelines — socially distance, self-isolate, stop touching your face and, of course, wash your hands.”
Kim also noted that “the virus doesn’t care about race or gender, religion, sexual orientation, whether you’re rich or poor, or your immigration status.”
The actor, who is of South Korean descent, also responded to the uprising in racist attacks on Asians simply because the coronavirus originated in China. “Please stop the prejudice and senseless violence against Asian people,” he said in his lengthy and impassioned video.
Kim joins a growing list of notable names in entertainment who have contracted the virus. Beloved Hollywood couple Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have tested positive for the virus, as has British actor Idris Elba. In the executive ranks, Universal Music chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge was hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 over the weekend.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, has also tested positive for the coronavirus. (Elba had recent contact with Gregoire Trudeau on March 4 at WE Day 2020 at The SSE Arena, Wembley in London, where the pair posed for pictures together.)
The worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus has sickened over 200,000 people and left more than 8,000 dead, with thousands of new cases confirmed each day. The death toll in the U.S. has climbed to 115, while infections have passed 7,000.
Aside from forcing numerous nations to close borders, the new coronavirus has had a substantial impact on the entertainment industry, with most TV series ceasing or halting production. On the film side, many upcoming projects have pressed pause or shifted release dates as cinemas close countrywide.
Sharareh Drury contributed to this story.
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