COVID-19 knows no bounds. Everyone has either known someone who has been infected or has been infected by the highly contagious virus — no matter their social-economic status, race, or age. With the Delta Variant now accounting for 83 percent of all new sequenced COVID-19 cases in the United States, some high-profile celebrities are becoming more transparent about their positive COVID diagnoses.
Grammy-award-winning artist, Drake recently revealed that he was one of the millions of people who contracted COVID-19 over the last year. The rapper who is gearing up to release his sixth studio album Certified Lover Boy soon, made the shocking confession to a fan who questioned why the star’s hairline was shedding.
“That heart is stressed,” the fan wrote on Instagram referring to a small heart that Drake has shaved into the top left of his head.
“I had COVID that s— grew in weird I had to start again,” the “Hotline Bling” crooner responded.
“It’s coming back don’t diss,” he added.
A study conducted by Indiana University shows that temporary hair loss could be a possible side effect of the virus. The university found that 33% of patients surveyed noticed it as a symptom. Hair loss can also occur from stress, an effect called telogen effluvium–a scalp disorder that results in the thinning of the hair. Severe illnesses like COVID-19 can certainly stress out the body.
Drake is not the only star to be affected by COVID’s unfortunate stronghold. There are a few other Black celebs who have fallen ill due to the virus.
Last year in March, The Wire star tested positive for the virus shortly after coming into contact with someone known to be carrying it. Luckily the actor was asymptomatic, showing none of COVID’s key indicators that include a sore throat, dry cough, and loss of smell among other symptoms, according to the World Health Organization. Reflecting on the ordeal over a year later in an interview with The Guardian, Elba shared that he was “fortunate to be alive” after fighting through what he says was a “mild” case of the virus.
“The last year has been a travesty. We feel very lucky we came out with our health and our beating hearts but there was a real recovery process that was difficult …,” he explained.
“I’m really lucky though because I had my partner with me who was there for every second,” Elba said of his wife Sabrina Dhowre Elba, who also contracted COVID.
The comedian and Girls Trip actress said she was tested “12 times” to make sure if she truly was positive for COVID. The star was on set filming a movie when someone from the crew fell ill with the virus. Haddish opened up about her scary experience during an interview with Dr. Fauci last year
“I was not in direct contact with them, but they sent all of us home, we stopped the movie. They suggested I go get tested. I got tested, got the results back two days later, they said I didn’t have the coronavirus,” she explained.
After initially testing negative for the virus, the Grammy-award winner decided to get tested again to see if she was carrying antibodies for COVID –and her second test made a shocking reveal.
“Get the tests the second time. I’m not feeling any symptoms or anything, and it comes back like two days later, and they said I did have the coronavirus,” Haddish recalled.
“Then I went and tested again, didn’t have the virus, and then I got tested for antibodies, they said I had antibodies,” Haddish continued. “That was three months ago, I’ve been tested 12 times now because I’ve been working and everything.”
The CDC estimates that 25 percent of people may be asymptomatic. While there’s no research yet that uncovers the big mystery in people exhibiting little to no symptoms from the virus, two theories suggest that individuals with stronger immune systems may be able to wane off the virus’ harsh effects or that some come in contact with smaller viral loads.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
The former wrestler turned actor tested positive for COVID-19 in addition to his wife and two daughters. The 49-year-old said he was shocked to learn of his and his family’s positive diagnosis even after they took great precautions to protect themselves.
“I can tell you that this has been one of the most challenging and difficult things we have ever had to endure as a family,” Johnson said in a video posted on Instagram about his trialing ordeal.
“It baffles me that some people out there, including some politicians, will take this idea of wearing masks and make it part of a political agenda,” Johnson continued.
“It has nothing to do with politics. Wear your mask. It is a fact. And it is the right thing to do.”
Kevin Hart admitted to contracting the virus around the same time that Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson fell ill with COVID. “…I couldn’t say anything because he’s more famous than I am,” the comedian laughingly shared during a stand-up bit. Both stars contracted the virus as it began to quickly spread across the U.S. in March of last year. However, there was a silver lining for the actor during his time in lockdown. The 41-year-old told USA Today that he was able to spend a little more time with his family.
“Through the pandemic, I was able to truly tap into fatherhood. Tap into the role of a husband more, because I’ve never been home this long ever. Ever! Because of my job, I’ve never been home for this many weeks – or weeks, period,” he explained. “Never have I been able to eat dinner with my family and talk to my family as much as I’ve been able to through the course of this pandemic, and it made me just realize some of the things that I missed, some of the things that I didn’t put as much value on that I probably should.”
In December of last year, the R&B singer tested positive for the virus upon returning from a trip to Nairobi, Africa but according to the star, she didn’t come into contract with COVID during her travels. The “Rock Wit U” crooner revealed that she contracted it from a close family member during an Instagram live session.
“I came home and I hugged a family member who ended up being positive. I didn’t know he was positive; he didn’t know he was positive, so when he went to get tested, I was like, ‘Oh f**k.’”
“Never in a million years did I think I would test positive…” the star added.
Ashanti said she experienced mild symptoms that included slight nasal congestion and loss of taste. The shocking news came just before she was set to go head to head against Keyshia Cole in a Verzuz battle, however, the show was later rescheduled.
Ashanti later revealed that her mother, who also fell ill with the virus, had suffered tremendously from symptoms, so much that they had to admit her to the hospital.
“My mom actually got it really bad. She was in the hospital for five days … Oh my gosh, y’all, I was going crazy. I snuck in the hospital; they had to kick me out. It was bad,” she shared with Hot 97.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was exposed to the virus in July 2020. Bottoms told CNN that she was “stunned” to learn of the diagnosis, noting that she attributed her mild headache and dry cough to allergies.
“I’m still in a state of shock because I don’t have any idea how we were exposed,” she added.
One of Bottoms’s four children also tested positive. All four of her children reportedly have asthma which could worsen the virus in people with preexisting conditions.