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Ellen DeGeneres Took This Medicine for COVID

“I'm not saying if you have back pain, you have COVID, but it is a symptom. That's the only symptom I had.”
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
Ellen DeGeneres

In her first show back in her studio in 2021, Ellen DeGeneres opened up about her case of coronavirus, sharing how it felt, what she was prescribed, and what symptoms to watch out for. "So I tested positive before the holidays," she said. "I'm all fine. Now. Everything's good. I'm all clear. I want to thank everyone who reached out with kind words of support. I wish I could have hugged each and every one of you that would have been dangerous and illegal probably," she said, garnering laughs. Read on to hear what happened to her, so it doesn't happen to you—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus


Ellen Found Out She Had COVID in the Studio

TV studio with interior and light.

"This is what happened. You guys, I was getting ready to tape the show that you were going to be here for. And I was in hair and makeup and 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."


Ellen Left the Studio Immediately

Fire exit sign at the corridor in building.

"I left the studio immediately and our COVID safety team informed everyone that I had been in contact with everything that they told Andy Lassner, [her producer]. And, when he heard, he literally ran at full speed off the lot, which is amazing. I didn't realize that you could run."


Ellen Then Went Home and Quarantined

Pretty young woman looking through jalousie of a dark room

"So then I went home obviously—I had to quarantine. Portia made me sleep in a different room on a different bed because she wanted the race car bed all to herself. And so, I slept for like the first three days. This is my experience with COVID the first three days: I slept for 16 hours a day."


On the Fourth Day, She Had Bad Pain—Real Bad

Woman sitting on the bed with pain in neck

"And then like on the fourth day I woke up with back spasms and I thought I had pulled a muscle or slept weird cause I was in a different bed. But it just persisted. And so the doctor put me on pain pills and muscle relaxers—jackpot," she joked. But "the painkillers did not help. My back got worse. It felt like I cracked a rib. You know how I make you laugh so hard that, that your ribs hurt? That's what it was like for me.…."


The Doctors Gave Her Steroids

Doctor holding syringe, medical injection in hand with glove.

"Anyway, the doctors," she continued. "They finally put me on a steroid pack because the other stuff was not working. But here's the thing about steroids. They make you really speedy and really edgy. So the best thing to do was, 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."

RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci


She Wants You to Know That Back Pain is a Symptom

Woman's hands hold back spine suffering pain wear.

"My brother kept asking how I was every day and I said, you know, I'm fine, but I have this really bad back pain. And he said, a friend of mine had COVID and he had back pain. Then I talked to several other people who said, Oh, they had back pain. So now apparently back pain is a symptom of COVID, which I did not know. But anyway, now, I'm not saying if you have back pain, you have COVID, but it is a symptom. That's the only symptom I had. I didn't have a headache. I didn't have fever. I didn't lose my sense of taste. Although I did wear Crocs with socks for a day. So you'd be the judge."


How to Survive This Pandemic

woman puts on face mask

As for yourself, follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.