Thanking those who reached out with kind words and support throughout her recovery, DeGeneres expressed her wish to have “hugged each and every one” of her fans.
“That would have been dangerous and illegal, probably,” the host joked.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show paused production in early December on the final day of the show’s “Twelve Days of Giveaways” seasonal event. As a result, DeGeneres invited the same audience back to the show who missed out on their gifts in December.
The host went on to recount the dramatic events on set the day she received her COVID-19 test result.
While sitting in hair and makeup, the 62-year-old remembered her assistant Craig walking in to inform her that she had tested positive.
“And then, everyone around me ran away,” DeGeneres said. “It’s funny, people just really get scared and they ran. Some have not come back since.”
Following the news, DeGeneres left the studio immediately, as her COVID safety team informed everyone who had been in contact with the virus.
When one of the show’s executive producers Andy Lassner heard the news, Ellen claimed that “he literally ran at full speed off the lot.”
Following the news, DeGeneres quarantined at home in a separate room from wife Portia de Rossi. In the first three days after contracting the virus, DeGeneres reported that she slept for 16 hours a day, waking up with back spasms on the fourth day. When the pain persisted, she was prescribed pain pills and muscle relaxers by her doctor.
“Jackpot,” she joked. “This thing is paying off.”
When the painkillers didn’t help, doctors finally put DeGeneres on a steroid pack, which ultimately eased along her recovery.
Following her experience with the virus, DeGeneres informed her audience that, although she wasn’t aware of this before, back pain is now a considerable symptom of COVID-19. She did not experience any other significant symptoms.
“I didn’t lose my sense of taste,” she recalled. “Although I did wear crocs with socks for a day, so you be the judge.”
Now fully recovered, the talk show host claimed she still has not determined the source from which she contracted the virus.
Watch the clip and see Ashley McBryde’s performance from the episode below.