Idris Elba says coronavirus diagnosis had 'traumatic mental impact'

File photo dated 11/12/18 of Idris Elba, who has said that his success has not "negated" his experience of racism.
Idris Elba (Credit: PA)

Idris Elba has said that getting the coronavirus affected him mentally, describing the ordeal as 'traumatic'.

The Luther star tested positive for COVID-19 in March, and has said that he's 'lucky to be alive and thankful' for recovering.

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But the affects of the disease had a mental impact, he told the Radio Times.

“I was asymptomatic so I didn’t get the major symptoms everyone else got,” he said.

“Mentally, it hit me very bad, because a lot was unknown about it. I felt very compelled to speak about it, just because it was such an unknown.

Photo by: zz/John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 12/16/19 Sabrina Dhowre Elba and Idris Elba at the world premiere of "Cats" held at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on December 16, 2019 in New York City. (NYC)
Sabrina Dhowre Elba and Idris Elba (Credit:John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx)

“So the mental impact of that on both myself and my wife was pretty traumatic. I needed the lockdown to try to get over it. And it turns out the world actually probably needed the lockdown, too.”

Elba revealed his positive diagnosis at the end of March.

Both he and wife Sabrina Dhowre Elba tested positive in the US, and self-isolated in New Mexico, before returning the UK in May.

Speaking to the BBC in April, shortly after his recovery, he said that he felt 'humbled and thankful to be alive'.

“It's given me a little bit more perspective about the future,” he added. “There are things that I worried about before this time in our lives, and everyone's lives, that I'm less worried about now.

“What I'm really thinking about is what we do in the future.”

He's next up on screens in Sky One's In The Long Run on 22 July.