BOLLYWOOD CELEBRITIES WHO GOT COVID: COVID-19 hits Tinsel Town
As we grapple yet another day amid this global health crisis that we are all collectively going through, we often long for normalcy to resume. But then again, science journalist Ed Yong’s words linger on elegantly, “Normal led to this.” Sounds a little morbid, don’t you think?
As we’ve passed the one-year anniversary of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the situation in our beloved motherland looks bleak and grim. With the lack of oxygen facilities, the India that we know today struggles to breathe. With a sudden surge in the Covid- 19 cases being reported throughout the country since early March 2021, India is going through a more fast-spreading and serious second wave of this deadly virus.
In a population spanning about 1.3 billion people, our homeland made history last year, for containing the virus efficiently by imposing a strict national lockdown- a model that even the World leaders took a lesson or two from. However, the situation today is far from ideal. While we continue to fight head-on, the attitude in the past year has switched completely. From the frontline workers experiencing extreme fatigue and breaking points, to election rallies and religious gatherings, it seems as though our representatives have other agendas on their minds. And, let’s not even get started about the mental health issues coming to the fore.
From deaths being reported every five minutes, to parking lots and gardens being turned into crematorium grounds, this unprecedented reality, encapsulated with newer, more pressing strains is ghastly. While we look for a glimmer of hope, a silver lining in this dark cloud, we truly wish for the situation to get better hereon. Over the last 365 days, this virus has certainly loomed and attacked all strata of society, the elite, middle class and the poor. Even our much revered, fanned Bollywood Celebrities have not been spared from its clutches.
2020 à 2021: BOLLYWOOD CELEBRITIES WHO GOT COVID
With shoots resuming or relocating with smaller crews late last year, to more precautions being put into place at present; as with any industry, it definitely is difficult to shut down industries this time around, for the fear of financial setbacks and uncertainties. With more austere regulations in place, we need to get through this period strongly and firmly.
Incredibly influential in their own rights, many B-town celebrities too have experienced this virus first-hand, sharing what they went through for our benefit through social media. Hey, they’re mere mortals like us too, lassies!
Dominated by the terms of ‘home isolation’, ‘social distancing’ and ‘quarantine’, we bring to you a list of our much-loved megastars that tested positive in 2020-2021.
1. Kanika Kapoor: The ‘Baby Doll’ singer, who never fails to regale us with her mellifluous voice, was apparently the first Indian celebrity to test positive for the coronavirus in March last year. While she was admitted to a hospital in Lucknow, the doctors assured the media that her condition was stable. Having contracted the virus after travelling back from the UK, she was heavily slammed for her “irresponsible” behaviour of not revealing her travel history and flouting self-quarantine rules whilst attending a large social gathering.
2. The Bachchan Trio: Constituting of Bollywood Royalty, stalwarts, Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and their daughter Aradhya Bachchan were compelled to welcome this virus unwillingly. While the patriarch and his son were admitted to the hospital, with the latter taking the longest to recover, the beauty queen and her daughter were initially advised to isolate at home. However, they too, were admitted to a renowned hospital in Mumbai after a few days, and their bungalow was declared as a “containment zone”.
3. Malaika Arora: This dancing queen too, tested positive for the virus, in September, last year. Opening up about her battle, she was able to “fathom” her condition saying, “No one prepares for this and it hits you like a thunderbolt”. Fortunately, she was asymptomatic and followed all protocols. Recalling her experience in an interview, she admitted that she missed hugging her “two babies” (her son, Arhaan and their dog), their sweet faces gave her “so much courage and energy to power through”.
4. Arjun Kapoor: This versatile actor, tested positive along with his girlfriend, Malaika in September 2020. Like her, he too was asymptomatic, but underwent an array of emotions initially, ranging from a “confused state of mind” to “disappointment” for postponing his work commitments. After coming out stronger, he too has been contributing graciously towards helping the needy.
5. Varun Dhawan: This talented dancer and actor, aka, new-age Govinda, bore victim to this disease in early December last year, while shooting for his film Jug Jug Jeeyo. Alongside the director, he quarantined in Chandigarh, while urging his fans and well-wishers to be alert and careful, since at times precautions too may fall short.
6. Neetu Kapoor: This yesteryear actress too, caught Covid-19 whilst shooting with her co-stars in Chandigarh, one of them being Varun Dhawan. Having developed mild symptoms, she later informed her fans through social media that with “all safety measures” being followed she was thankful to her doctors and authorities for their aptness and was recovering well. The veteran, however, decided to self-quarantine at home.
7. Katrina Kaif: This OG diva put out a post on Instagram on April 6, 2021 (hello second wave) to let the world know that she had contracted the virus and immediately isolated at home while requesting those who came in contact recently to get tested. Within two weeks, she put out another radiant and an ‘au naturale’ post to announce that she had finally tested negative.
8. Vicky Kaushal: Around the same time as his rumoured beau, Vicky Kaushal too, announced that he was positive and had all protocols in place. Following Katrina’s lead, he put out a beautiful smiling picture soon enough to thank everyone for their prayers, which had unfolded into him testing negative.
9. Ranbir Kapoor: A few months after his mother, the ‘Sanju’ actor tested positive for the disease in the second week of March, this year. Both his uncle, Randhir Kapoor and his mother, Neetu Kapoor confirmed the news of his illness, stating that “he is on medication and recovering well.” He too, like most others was under home isolation.
10. Alia Bhatt: Days after her boyfriend recovered, the effervescent actress, Alia Bhatt jumped onto the Covid bandwagon in early April. Like her contemporaries and seniors, she took to social media to inform the world of her diagnosis, while she quarantined at home. After testing negative in Mid-April, she flew down to the Maldives with her better half to spend some quality time.
11. Akshay Kumar: Superstar and humanitarian, Akshay Kumar tested positive for this novel virus in the first week of April this year. While he had isolated himself, he was further hospitalized under “medical advice”. After recovering, he was back to being his generous self and pledged to donate 100 oxygen cylinders with his wife in tow to help cope with the current situation.
12. Bhumi Pednekar: A little while after her ‘Toilet’ co-star announced that he was positive, she too followed suit on April 5th, 2021. While she has been recovering at home with all precautions in place, this pretty starlet has been gracing her fans with some visual treats of her photogenic self via Instagram.
13. Fatima Sana Sheikh: Days after testing positive for Covid-19, Dangal actress, Fatima Sana Sheikh, shared another selfie from her life in quarantine on Instagram, with a caption stating “Covid Sucks”; summing up her current emotions. Experiencing the more common symptoms of loss of taste, smell and body ache, this actress is currently recovering at home.
14. Sonu Sood: Emerged as the “real hero” of the people of India, this empathic and charitable human being took the virus in his stride, and challenged it like a pro. Even amidst quarantine, he assured the general public that he would continue to help them, quoting, “This gives me ample time to solve your problems”. A true gem, he has touched thousands of people through his actions during the past year.
While these are just some of our loved heartthrobs who have successfully combatted the disease, a few others are currently battling this ailment in the hospital or have even succumbed to the same. Unsparingly, apart from the elderly, it has also affected healthier and younger individuals. Evergreen industry veterans such as ‘Prem Parbat’ actor Satish Kaul, ‘Singham’ performer, Kishore Nandalsarkar and ace music composer, ‘Shravan Rathod’ gave up their fight and died of complications recently. In a shattering news update, retired army officer and actor, Bikramjeet Kanwarpal, too, lost his life to the virus at the age of 52 earlier this week.
While the diagnosis of many other famous personalities such as Arjun Rampal and Neil Nitin Mukesh keep filling up our social media feeds, along with thousands of “ get well soon” messages from colleagues and well-wishers, we need to understand that this virus is not going away anytime soon. Life is truly uncertain, and we have been suddenly made to realize the mortality of us all. While many of us are losing our loved ones almost instantly, we as individuals need to stay inside our houses and stay safe. As a senior doctor rightly said to an international publication, this truly is an ‘apocalypse’ of our times.
To sign off, all we’d like to say is let’s TEST NEGATIVE, BUT BE POSITIVE”. As citizens, it is our duty to support our healthcare staff in the midst of this crumbling infrastructure, while they work tirelessly to save millions of lives.