It Felt Like I Cracked a Rib: Ellen DeGeneres on COVID-19 Recovery

Ellen DeGeneres had tested positive for COVID-19 some time back.

2 min read
Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres recently recovered from COVID-19.

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres shared her painful experience with COVID- 19 in the monologue of the first episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show of 2021. She tested positive for the virus in early December. The comedian mentioned that she had had a backache so severe, it felt as though she had “cracked a rib”.


"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 because I was in a different bed but it just persisted," she said.

"It felt like I cracked a rib. You know how I make you laugh so hard that your ribs hurt? That's how it was like for me. Now I know how you feel when I make you laugh," she joked.

She mentioned that back pain was the only symptom that she developed. Due to the severity of her backaches, the doctors put her on a steroid pack that eventually helped the pain subside.


Ellen found out that she tested positive while getting her hair and make- up done for the day's show. "And then everyone around me ran away," she said. "It's funny, people just really get scared. Some ran and they have not come back since." DeGeneres left the studio immediately and the show's COVID-19 safety team reached out to everyone who had had contact with her. At home, the star quarantined away from wife Portia de Rossi, whom she joked made her sleep in a different room "because she wanted the race car bed all to herself".

Ellen went on to say she is still unaware about where she had contracted the virus from. "I started to feel better and I am very fortunate—very, very blessed—that was it for me," she said. "The weird thing is I 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." She concluded with a message to others struggling with the illness, saying that her heart goes out to all of them.

Ellen thanked everyone who reached out to her during her illness saying, "I wish I could've hugged each and every one of you. That would've been dangerous and illegal probably."

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Quint Insider

or more


3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Insider Benefits
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!