Tom Hanks’ Sister Provides Update On His Health

Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) sits in a cafe booth and smiles in a scene from 'A Beautiful Day in the Neig

When news broke that Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson contracted coronavirus, it signaled a bit of a shift in the way some people thought about the pandemic. For people in countries that hadn’t yet been widely affected, it suddenly wasn’t just something happening somewhere else -- it was happening to people we “know.” The actors have been kind to keep fans up to date about their quarantining efforts. And now, Tom Hanks’ sister has offered her own update about his health.

Earlier this week, Sandra Hanks Benoiton revealed that she’d been in touch with her brother, and she offered a realistic, but still optimistic, view on his recovery to

I have communicated with my brother. He's not great, but still okay. [Am I] shocked? No. He's an actor, not a god [but] medical care in Australia is good.

On March 11, Tom Hanks revealed that both he and his wife had tested positive for Coronavirus while on location in Australia. In the following days, the actors shared updates with their fans on social media. They emphasized the importance of following social distancing protocols and gave thanks to the health care workers who’ve looked after them. They kept their spirits up by sharing funny photos and creating Quarantunes playlists to help fans wile away the lonely hours.

The last time Tom Hanks shared an update was on March 17, when he joked about having mixed feelings about his once-beloved Corona typewriter, and once again reminded fans to work together to flatten the curve. So, it’s good to hear from someone close to him that he’s still doing okay.

Though he and Rita Wilson were among the first celebrities to reveal they’d caught COVID-19, a slew of others have since announced their own diagnoses. In the past couple of days alone, Idris Elba, Olga Kurylenko, Kristofer Hivju and Daniel Dae Kim have also used social media to share their coronavirus stories and urge fans to be safe and stay home.

And while there’s been some backlash surrounding the tone deaf approach some celebrities have taken during the pandemic, these actors have proven it’s possible to use their platform to do good. They’ve not only explained how and where they contracted the virus, but Idris Elba and Daniel Dae Kim also stressed the fact that they were asymptomatic -- which is an important reminder that you can be carrying the virus, even if you don’t feel sick.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, especially, should be credited with setting the tone for many other celebrities with their candor and also for taking a scary moment in their own lives and using it to encourage safety and uplift others. As hundreds of thousands of people are getting sick and industries grind to a halt, it may seem silly sometimes to wonder how celebrities are handling coronavirus. However, the celebrities that have tested positive for coronavirus have served to remind us that pandemics don’t discriminate. It’s also hard to deny that hearing good news about those who are currently working toward recovery is a bit of a balm in these increasingly uncertain times.

Katherine Webb