When Idris Elba tested positive for COVID-19 back in March, he reassured fans he would be okay. But as his wife Sabrina Dhowre reveals in a candid new interview with Grazia UK, Elba wasn’t actually sure that was true. In fact, at one point, he worried he might not recover at all. Thankfully, the couple is on the mend now (she contracted the virus, too). But Dhowre admits the entire ordeal was “really scary” and has given them both a new appreciation for life.
Speaking to Grazia in an interview published on Thursday, Dhowre shared that receiving the COVID-19 diagnosis was much more terrifying than Elba let on to his fans. “At the time that we got sick, the media was pushing hard on how dangerous it was,” she explained. And while Elba initially told fans he was asymptomatic, the virus ultimately did shake him. “At one point, Idris really thought that this could be the end. He has asthma. He is older. It was really scary.”
Faced with their own mortality in that way changed their outlook, says Dhowre. “That kind of unsureness about what’s coming next leaves you with a bit of anxiety,” she told the outlet. “But having been sick and being okay also now gives you this new lease of life: I want to be super appreciative of everything.”
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‘At first, I didn’t know if I was going to like him taking pictures. You never really ask the boyfriend or husband to take the picture, right? You never get the angle.’ Photographed at home by her husband @idriselba, @sabrinaelba tells Grazia’s @guypewsey about the couple’s personal experience with coronavirus and why sample sizes are a form of discrimination. TAP the #linkinbio to read the interview 👆 and pick up this week’s Grazia for the full shoot. Image: @idriselba for @graziauk. Makeup: @jdebruyne
Elba echoed that sentiment of gratitude last month in an interview with BAFTA, confessing, “I do feel like I dodged a bullet — I’m very thankful to be alive.”
When Elba first received his diagnosis, he was in Sante Fe, New Mexico, shooting Netflix’s The Harder They Fall. He wasn’t experiencing any symptoms at the time, but went into self-isolation and requested testing after learning he’d been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Dhowre’s diagnosis would come later, after she chose to quarantine with her husband after he tested positive.
Video-chatting with Oprah Winfrey in May, Dhowre said of her diagnosis, “I’m not surprised. As soon as I heard Idris was possibly exposed, I mean I was on my way anyway, and I wanted to be with him. I think that’s an instinct as a wife. You just wanna go and take care.”
She added, “We didn’t change the way we interact. I could have made a decision to put myself maybe in a separate room or stay away and I’m sure that people are making those decisions and they’re tough decisions to make, but I made the decision to be with him and, you know, still touch him.”
Before you go, click here to discover 15 things you didn’t know about Elba.