“I wanted to let you know that yesterday I tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus,” he said in a video message to his fans.
Kim went on to explain that for the past few weeks he had been filming a TV series, in which he “ironically” had been playing a doctor who “gets recruited to a hospital to help patients during a flu pandemic.” But when news of the coronavirus started to come in, the show stopped production, and he returned home to Hawaii.
“It’s important for you guys to know that I was asymptomatic during all of this time,” he noted. “But as the flight was close to landing, I started noticing some scratchiness in my throat, which is unlike how I usually get sick.”
He continued: “So when I landed, I called my family doctor in Hawaii and he told me to monitor my symptoms. To be safe, when I got home, I quarantined myself in a room in the house and tried to rest on my own. But later that night, I started feeling tightness in my chest, body aches and my temperature started to rise. So he then told me to get tested.”
Kim said the next day he went to a drive-thru testing facility that had just opened in Honolulu.
“The test itself was really awkward and a little painful, because they shove a huge swab into your nose and into your throat, but it was worth it, because of what I found out,” he said.
Kim then shared that his doctor prescribed him some medication — but did not specify what kind — and that he went straight home to self-isolate, where he stayed in a separate area away from his wife and kids as well during this time.
Daniel Dae Kim during the opening night of the Munich Film Festival 2019 at Mathaeser Filmpalast on June 27, 2019 in Munich, Germany.
(Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images)
“I never went to a hospital, but with the help of the medication and bed rest, liquids and, of course, my loving family, I didn’t need to,” he explained. I actually started feeling better the day after, and I started feeling a little better the day after that, and today, even though I’m not 100 percent, I’m pretty close.”
Kim then urged everyone, especially younger people, to take coronavirus seriously.
“… Thankfully for me, it wasn’t a matter of life or death,” he said. “But even though I’m smiling and upbeat right now, for several days I was in bed, so for all those out there, especially teenagers and millennials who think this is not serious, please know that it is.
“And if you treat this without care, you are potentially endangering the lives of millions of people, including your loved ones,” Kim continued. “So for the sake of everyone else, please follow the guidelines. Socially distance, self-isolate, stop touching your face and, of course, wash your hands.”
He also called to end the “prejudice and senseless violence” towards Asian people due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Randomly beating elderly, sometimes homeless Asian-Americans is cowardly, heartbreaking and it’s inexcusable,” he stated. “Yes, I’m Asian and yes, I have coronavirus, but I did not get it from China, I got it in America, in New York City, and despite what certain political leaders want to call it, I don’t consider the place where it’s from as important as the people who are sick and dying.”
Kim concluded his video by offering to help with a vaccine.
“… With any luck, I will have actually built up an immunity to this virus when all of this is said and done,” he stated. “So I may not actually need the vaccine when it comes out. I hope it comes soon though, and I will gladly contribute in any way I can, including donating antibodies in the pursuit of finding a vaccine for everyone.”
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