Ellen has COVID-19. As she recovers, it can be a teaching moment for her millions of fans.

Ellen has COVID-19. As she recovers, it can be a teaching moment for her millions of fans.
via ellentube / YouTube

Daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres announced she has contracted COVID-19 in a Thursday morning tweet. The announcement comes the day after America had its largest day of deaths caused by the virus.

Over 3,000 Americans succumbed to COIVD-19 on Wednesday. For some perspective, that's more in a single day than were killed in the 9/11 attacks.

DeGeneres joins the 15.4 million Americans who've contracted the virus.

"Hi Everyone," DeGeneres wrote. "I want to let you all know that I tested positive for Covid-19. Fortunately, I'm feeling fine right now. Anyone who has been in close contact with me has been notified, and I am following all proper CDC guidelines. I'll see you all again after the holidays. Please stay healthy and safe."

Her announcement set a good example for the country because it showed she's handling her illness responsibly by following CDC guidelines.

DeGeneres now has the opportunity to be a good role model by sharing the realities of the disease and how she's keeping herself and those around her safe.

Celebrities like DeGeneres who are a daily part of so many people's lives are in the unique position to affect how the public views the pandemic. The talk show host has an audience of millions and can be a valuable spokesperson to encourage people to wear masks and social distance.

When Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson caught the coronavirus back in March, it was eye-opening for many. Understanding their responsibility to the public, they didn't shy away from sharing their experiences with the virus.

Hanks has since used his fame to remind people of the importance of mask-wearing.

Back in March, before the virus hit its first peak, DeGeneres taught her jam-packed studio audience how to wash their hands to avoid catching the virus.

"I like to keep you up to date on all the latest viral trends," the host told her audience. "And there's a big one sweeping the world right now — it's not a good one — I'm talking about the coronavirus."

"If you haven't heard of it, raise your filthy hand," she joked.

Ellen Wants to Help Protect You from Getting Coronaviruswww.youtube.com

In October, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" was one of the first television shows to return from COVID-induced hiatus with a live in-studio audience. The show allows around 40 people to sit in an audience with a capacity of 300.

The show also has occasional in-studio guests.

DeGeneres announcement comes as her show is experiencing a ratings free-fall after reports of a toxic work environment have plagued it for the past year. A recent report by Buzzfeed revealed that prominent stars have turned down appearances on the show due to its negative reputation and that advertisers are leery of being associated with DeGeneres' tarnished brand.

A spokesperson from Telepictures says the show will stop taping new episodes until January and will air repeat episodes instead.

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

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