"Obviously, there are a lot of negative things going on, so instead, I want to talk about something positive — my COVID test."
That's how Ellen DeGeneres opened her first show of 2021, speaking to the same audience she was scheduled to have back in December when she had to cancel her show due to her contraction of the coronavirus.
"I was getting ready to tape the show," she explained. "I was in Hair and Makeup, getting my face powdered and my extensions put in, and then my assistant Craig walks in and said 'you tested positive for COVID,' and then everyone around me ran away. It's funny. People just really get scared, and they ran. Some have not come back since."
"Obviously, I had to quarantine. Portia [de Rossi] made me sleep in a diffferent room, on a different bed, because she wanted the race car bed all to herself," she quipped. "This is my experience with COVID. The first three days, I slept for 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 slept weird since I was in a different bed, but it just persisted, and so the doctor put me on pain pills and muscle relaxers — jackpot! Finally, this thing is paying off! So anyway, the pain killers did not help. My back got worse. It felt like I cracked a rib. You know how I make you laugh so hard that your ribs hurt? That's what it was like for me. Now I know how you feel when I make you laugh."
"They finally put me on a steroid pack," she continued. "Here's the thing about steroids. They make you 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."
After talking with her brother and others, she learned that back pain is a known symptom of COVID.
"It's the only symptom I had," she said. "I didn't have a headache, I didn't have fever, I didn't lose my sense of taste, although I did where Crocs with socks for a day, so you be the judge. Anyway, I started to feel better, and I'm very fortunate, very, very blessed. That was it for me. 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 licked three or four door handles, so it's a mystery to me how that would happen."
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Andy Hunsaker has a head full of sitcom gags and nerd-genre lore, and can be followed @AndyHunsaker if you're into that sort of thing.