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Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks feel like 'canaries in the coal mine' after contracting Covid-19

Actors Rita Wilson and husband Tom Hanks were the first major stars to go public with their Covid-19 diagnosis back in March. The two were diagnosed while in Australia, where Hanks was shooting a film.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson Source: Getty

The couple returned home to California and have recovered, but the threat of the virus remains as scientists try to develop a vaccine. The US death toll reached 200,000 this week.

Wilson, speaking from her home in a recent interview with The Associated Press, said the couple is part of a larger study of the virus.

"We were like the canaries in the coal mine, I guess. We feel great. Thank you. We still we're part of the study at UCLA, so we fortunately still have antibodies. And even though they diminish over time, we still have them.

So that's good. And I'm very fortunate. I definitely don't want to get Covid-19 again. Definitely not. And it's not a pleasant experience. And some people have different symptoms, obviously, but my symptoms were nothing that I'd want to repeat. But I'm doing really well," Wilson said.

Wilson has teamed up with the American Nurses Association and pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur to encourage people– especially older individuals and those with chronic health conditions—to get a flu shot this year.

The CDC recommends most people consult with a health care provider and get the influenza vaccine this year to protect against the flu, and help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 63-year-old Wilson says she is planning to get a flu shot this year.

"I had Covid-19. It is bad and it's still around. And if people get the flu shot, then… they ease up on all the nurses and all of our health care workers and providers that might need the hospitals, that might need rooms to take care of people who have Covid," she said.

Wilson has spent much of her time in quarantine being creative, including writing and recording several new songs. She said she has really appreciated the time with loved ones as well.

"The slowing down and just understanding what the essential needs are, because we all can be sort of busy. And it really distilled down to what we love.

"Our families and our good friends. And you don't ever really need a reminder for that. But it became very, very present and enveloping instead of just a concept that was out there, you know. Yes, I love my family and my friends. But this was really a way to connect in a deeper way," Wilson said.