Coronavirus: Idris Elba suggests pandemic is Earth’s response to being ‘damaged’ by humanity

Actor and his wife Sabrina Dhowre, who have both tested positive for the virus, spoke to Oprah Winfrey about their experience 

Roisin O'Connor
Sunday 22 March 2020 12:28 GMT
Oprah Winfrey and Idris Elba discuss what coronavirus can teach us about humanity

Idris Elba has suggested the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is the planet’s response to being “damaged” by humanity.

The Luther star recently revealed he tested positive for the virus and has been self-isolating with his wife, Sabrina Dhowre, who also tested positive.

In a video interview with Oprah Winfrey, the 47-year-old said it was “really obvious” to him that the outbreak is Earth’s response to being mistreated by humans.

“One of the upsides of this whole drama is that we are forced to think together as a race,” Elba said.

“Our world has been taking a kicking. We have damaged our world and it’s no surprise that our world is reacting to the human race.

“It is no surprise that a virus has been created that is going to slow us down, and ultimately make us think differently about our world and ourselves.

“For me, that’s a stand-out thing that is really obvious. This is almost like the world’s cry out. Like: ‘Hey, hey, hey – you are kicking me and what you’re doing is not good, so we will get rid of you.’

“As any organism would do, (the world) is trying to get rid of an infection, and maybe this is it for the world.”

“I think we all lose as human beings if we just think of this as a physical virus,” Winfrey responded.

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“I think it is exactly as you said, that it is here to teach us, show us something about ourselves, as individuals and also as a world of people.

“And this is the moment for our humanity to either rise or not.”

The interview was conducted as part of Winfrey’s new show Oprah Talks Covid-19, a new Apple TV+ series.

In a post that shared the video, she wrote: “Idris fills me in on his journey and Sabrina reveals the result of her test after they decided to quarantine together.”

She added: “Like millions of people all over the world, I’ve been staying safer at home for over a week now. I know a lot of people are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, & uncertain,” Winfrey explained.

“Bc of that, I want to offer some hope & gather thought leaders & people going through it to add some perspective.”

Other celebrities to have tested positive for coronavirus include Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko, Frozen 2 star Rachel Matthews, and Bon Jovi musician David Bryan.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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