In early December, Ellen DeGeneres revealed she had tested positive for COVID-19. Shortly after that, her daytime talk show shut down production for several weeks as cases continued to rise in California. On Wednesday (December 13), DeGeneres returned to the studio and resumed her show. In the opening monologue, she detailed the moment she found out she had contracted the coronavirus.
"Obviously there are a lot of negative things going on, so instead I want to talk about something positive – my COVID test…it was positive,” DeGeneres began her monologue. “So yeah, I tested positive before the holidays and I’m fine now, I’m all good, I’m all clear.”
The talk show host was "in hair and makeup" when she was first informed. "My assistant Craig walked in and said, ‘You tested positive for COVID.' And then everyone around me ran away," she recalled. “So I left the studio immediately and our COVID safety team had informed everyone that I had contact with."
She then went on to share her experience with the highly infectious virus. “For the first three days, I slept like 16 hours a day. And then on the fourth day, I woke up with back spasms, and I thought I had pulled a muscle or had slept weird because I was in a different bed,” DeGeneres revealed. “But it just persisted, and the doctor put me on pain pills and muscle relaxers. Jackpot! Finally, this thing is paying off. So anyway, the pain pills did not work, and my back got worse. It felt like I had cracked a rib…you know how I make you feel when you laugh so hard your ribs hurt? That’s how it felt – I finally understand how you feel.”
“Anyway, they put me on a steroid pack because the other stuff was not working,” she continued. “The steroid pack worked, but here’s the thing about steroids: they make you feel really speedy and really edgy. So the best thing to do, I decided, was to stay on the muscle relaxers and pain pills, with the steroid pack to balance it out. I don’t know if that’s the best way, I’m not a doctor. But that’s what I did. I’ll ask Sunjay Gupta, he’s on later. I’m still on them. The muscle relaxers are helpful.”
Back pain is one of the many symptoms of COVID-19. DeGeneres said that was only symptom she experienced besides her initial fatigue. “I started to feel better, and I’m very fortunate and very, very blessed that that was it for me,” she said. “The weird thing is, I don’t know where I got it. I still don’t know where I got it. I wear a mask, I wash my hands, I only lick three or four door handles – so it’s a mystery how that would happen.”
The Ellen DeGeneres Show airs weekdays at 3pm on NBC.