Actor Daniel Dae Kim, who starred in the hit series Lost and Hawaii 5-0, has revealed that he was recently diagnosed with coronavirus, though he added that his health is improving and is feeling close to normal after spending a few days in bed.
The Hollywood star also urged young people to take the global pandemic seriously. “So for all those out there, especially teenagers and millennials who think this is not serious, please know that it is,” he said in an Instagram video. “And if you treat this without care, you are potentially endangering the lives of millions of people, including your loved ones.”
His urgent advice stands in stark contrast to his Lost co-star Evangeline Lilly, who recently said she won’t practice social distancing because she values her personal freedom. Lilly hasn’t been diagnosed with coronavirus, but said she is living with her father who has stage four leukemia.
Kim’s advice that people socially distance also comes just days after actress Vanessa Hudgens played doing so, calling the CDC’s warning “bullshit” and adding “people are going to die, which is terrible, but like, inevitable?” She later apologized.
Kim revealed Thursday that he was diagnosed upon returning home to Hawaii after shooting the TV series New Amsterdam in New York where, coincidentally, he played a doctor during a flu pandemic. The actor said Universal is aware of his diagnosis and is working with medical professionals.
“I feel terrible thinking I could have given this to anyone,” he said.
Kim said he was asymptomatic during the TV shoot in New York and for most of his journey home.
“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 said in the video. “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.”
Kim said he went to a drive-thru testing facility that had just opened in Honolulu. While he waited for the results, the actor said he was prescribed medication andwent straight home. “That was the only time I left my house since arriving back in Hawaii,” he said.
The actor said he isolated himself from the rest of his family for the next few days. “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.”
The Lost star pleaded with the public to follow government recommendations to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
“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 said. “I believe healthcare for all is a right, not a privilege. And not just healthcare, but quality healthcare. Everyone who meets the qualifications to be tested should be. Period. Because the virus doesn’t care about race or gender, religion, sexual orientation, whether you’re rich or poor, or your immigration status.”
Kim also addressed reports of physical assaults and verbal harassment of Asian people in the U.S. “Please, please stop the prejudice and senseless violence against Asian people,” he said, describing the acts as “cowardly, heartbreaking, and inexcusable.”
He concluded: “Through our efforts, we can beat this thing and flatten the curve.”