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Idris Elba admitted his asthma makes him nervous amid testing positive for the coronavirus.
Elba, 47, went live on Twitter the day after revealing his positive diagnosis to give fans an update on his health. While Elba maintains he doesn’t have any symptoms, he’s worried having asthma will affect him since the virus targets the pulmonary system.
“Yes, of course I’m worried,” he said on the livestream Q&A. “I’m worried about having asthma and how that could make things complicated very quickly. I’m very worried about what’s happening in the world, if I’m honest. I’ve very worried about how we’re dealing it. Part of speaking publicly about it part of me coping about how the world is dealing with it.”
Elba has been honest about his struggles with asthma in the past. He had an asthma attack on a plane in 2013 and had to be taken off once he found he couldn’t breathe.
“It was the strangest thing to ever happen to me,” Elba later told a radio station. “I’ve got asthma, I’ve always had asthma. And as soon as I sat on the plane, I suddenly couldn’t breath. When asthma hits you your lungs, it feels like you’re in a bit of water and you’ve got this much air to breath in and it keeps creeping up. That’s what asthma feels like… Asthma is one of those things if you’ve had it for a long time, if you don’t panic, you’ll be okay. But it was really shocking for me.”
Elba also revealed in a 2018 interview that he went to a school for kids with special needs for two years because of it.
“Asthma was quite a dominating factor in my life early on, and I still carry a pump now,” Elba told RadioTimes.
“Yeah, that was a weird two years of my life,” Elba said of being sent to the school. “I was asthmatic, but I was fine as long as I wasn’t running around. But here I was at this amazing school that was full of kids with very severe disabilities, and kids who were just straight-up bad. I was chucked in the middle of that.”
In the interview, Elba also said that he long ago learned to look at the brighter side of his illness — and try to find the humor in it.
“But also, as you do with some things, you find levity in them,” he said. “My mum used to say to me: ‘You’ve got asthma because you eat too many sweets.’ One time I had this massive asthma attack, and I went for chest x-rays. The doctor showed us the results – there were these real intense blobs where the arteries were clogged up. And my mum looks at me and says: ‘You see? Maltesers.’ ”
Gustavo Caballero/Getty Idris Elba
In the livestream on Tuesday, Elba revealed that his wife Sabrina Dhowre Elba, 30, who is in quarantine with him, was tested for the virus that morning and is awaiting her results.
“Sabrina is doing good, she finally today managed to get a test,” Elba said. “Generally she’s fine. Nervous of course. Worried.”
Elba also addressed people wondering why she was by his side given how contagious the virus is. Dhowre appeared with Elba in Monday’s video when he announced his positive diagnosis.
“Just for clarification, Sabrina wanted to be by my side,” he said. “As much as we talked about her not coming to where I am, she did. She wanted to. I love her even more for it and I would do the same thing for her. Love is all you get, and who am I to turn down my wife’s support? As much as I want her to be safe, we calculated that risk and decided to be together.”
“I love Sabrina for standing by me and being in that video, it was the most important moment for me,” he added.