After Tom Hanks recovered from COVID-19, he got a letter from an 8-year-old Australian boy named Corona De Vries.
“I heard on the news you and your wife had caught the coronavirus,” Corona wrote, “Are you okay?”
In his letter, the Toy Story fan also told the actor he loved his own name, but he was being bullied for it at school where kids called him “coronavirus.”
“I get very sad and angry when people call me this,” he wrote.
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Hello folks. @ritawilson and I want to thank everyone here Down Under who are taking such good care of us. We have Covid-19 and are in isolation so we do not spread it to anyone else. There are those for whom it could lead to a very serious illness. We are taking it one-day-at-a-time. There are things we can all do to get through this by following the advice of experts and taking care of ourselves and each other, no? Remember, despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball. Hanx
Hanks, an avid typewriter collector, sat down at his Corona brand typewriter to write back. He wrote: “Dear Friend Corona… Your letter made my wife and I feel so wonderful! Thank you for being such a good friend – friends make friends feel good when they are down.”
.@tomhanks has written a heart-felt letter to a young Helensvale boy named Corona. The 8-year-old was being bullied at school and decided to write to the Hollywood superstar and his wife @RitaWilson, after they were diagnosed with Coronavirus. https://t.co/6l2nzFJNn5 #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/H02WF2dRCx
— 7NEWS Gold Coast (@7NewsGoldCoast) April 23, 2020
He told the 8-year-old he had already recovered, but the letter made him “feel even better.”
“You are the only person I’ve ever known to have the name Corona— like the ring around the sun, a crown.”
After Hanks typed up the letter, he boxed up his beloved Corona typewriter and sent it to the boy as a gift.
“I thought this typewriter would suit you,” he said. “I had taken it to the Gold Coast, and now, it is back— with you. Ask a grown up how it works. And use it to write me back.”
According to the De Vries family as reported by 9 News Australia, Hanks’ new penpal is “excited to have a new friend in the US.”
Corona was thrilled when he unwrapped the typewriter shipped all the way from Santa Monica, California.
“It’s awesome,” Corona said, “because it’s so old it must have belonged to someone before they gave it to Tom Hanks.”
Corona’s dad, Kevin, was touched that the movie star sent such a kind letter and gift to his son.
“That typewriter meant a lot to Tom, and for him to give it to Corona is very, very special,” he said.
Hanks posted about his Corona typewriter while in the isolation ward on March 17.
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Hey folks. Good News: One week after testing Positive, in self-isolation, the symptoms are much the same. No fever but the blahs. Folding the laundry and doing the dishes leads to a nap on the couch. Bad news: My wife @ritawilson has won 6 straight hands of Gin Rummy and leads by 201 points. But I have learned not to spread my Vegemite so thick. I travelled here with a typewriter, one I used to love. We are all in this together. Flatten the curve. Hanx
Hanks wrote in his post, “I traveled here with a typewriter, one I used to love.”
Hanks is known for his love of typewriters and owns hundreds. He’s written a book about them and appeared in an SNL sketch about typewriters.
In an interview with reporter David Greene from NPR, Hanks joked, “I have too many typewriters, David. You want one?” He said he feared he’d leave behind too many typewriters for his family to deal with after he “kicks the bucket.”
Hanks ended his typewritten letter with a handwritten note reminding the boy “You got a friend in me,” just like Woody says in Toy Story.
After three weeks of recovery in Queensland, Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson are both back in the US.
The couple had traveled to Australia because Wilson was performing in a series of concerts and Hanks has begun filming an Elvis Presley biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann.
Corona plans to use the typewriter to write Hanks back as soon as he learns how to use it.