Sabrina Dhowre, Idris Elba's Wife, Tests Positive For Coronavirus

by Leah Groth
Idris Elba Sabrina Dhowre
Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty Images

Sabrina Dhowre revealed to Oprah Winfrey on Saturday she has tested positive

On March 16, beloved actor Idris Elba revealed that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Over the weekend, The Wire star and his wife, Sabrina Dhowre, were guests on Oprah Winfrey‘s new Apple TV+ series, Oprah Talks, where the talk show host chats with thought leaders, healthcare experts, and celebrities. During the interview, Elba’s wife revealed that she, too, has tested positive for the virus.

“I know that these are challenging times for everyone,” Oprah said. “What does this moment mean? In my life, I always ask, ‘When crisis shows up, no matter how large or small, what is this here to teach me?’ I think this is going to be a moment for all of us to rise in our humanity. The question is, how do we come out on the other side of this, stronger, better, for ourselves and for each other?”

Oprah then explained that she wants to help people learn firsthand from those who have experienced it. So, for her first episode, she chose to host Elba and Dhowre, who are quarantined together in New Mexico, where Elba’s latest film was in production.

Elba confessed to Oprah that he “hasn’t witnessed any major symptoms” and is “feeling okay.” He then went on to discuss why he decided to get tested for the virus. He learned that someone he was with on March 4 tested positive for coronavirus, so he asked the set doctor on set for a test — which happened to be the last of three available — to prevent anyone else he worked with from getting exposed.

Elba, who suffers from asthma, told Oprah he, so far, isn’t sure how long he has to remain in quarantine. He admitted he’s concerned about his breathing due to his preexisting health condition and is relying on an inhaler to stay healthy.

He also wanted to draw attention to a “key factor” of the virus: Not everyone with the virus is symptomatic. “It’s interesting and worrying that people are possibly carrying this disease and are seemingly OK but can spread it easily,” he said.

Then, his wife revealed that she, too, tested positive.

“Actually, I found out this morning, Oprah, that I tested positive,” Dhowre said. But despite contracting the virus, she doesn’t regret staying by her husband’s side. “I wanted to be with him. That’s the instinct of a wife. You want to go and take care.”

Dhowre explained that she is feeling healthy. “I don’t feel anything that would come to what people would now expect to be a symptom of coronavirus, which is really strange. It might change in the coming weeks, and we’ll keep everyone updated. But it is worrisome that we’re sitting here, two people, and … we’re asymptomatic.”

The couple also discussed the “silver lining” of their situation: that it has allowed them to spend more time with each other, playing video games, chess, and cooking meals. As for their mental health, Dhowre told Oprah they’re “focusing on what we can control in the moment.”

For Dhowre, that means cleaning and spending time with family, while, for Elba, it’s about “staying creative” and “checking in” with loved ones. He has also started playing the guitar. “You know what? He’s not bad. I don’t mind him playing it. It’s kind of romantic,” Dhowre said.

“I don’t want people to stop thinking about others,” she added. “That’s one of the reasons social distancing is so important: not only to protect yourself, but to protect other people you might see. It’s a time for togetherness.”

Elba said that he and Dhowre hope that everyone who has the coronavirus is staying optimistic.

“And we really hope that everyone just stays focused, stays calm, and think about others as well,” he said.

Oprah ended the show with the kind of wisdom that has made her a media legend: “It’s here to teach us, show us something about ourselves as individuals and also as a world of people. And this is a moment for our humanity to either rise or not.”