Ellen DeGeneres brought some much-needed levity back to the airwaves Wednesday when she returned to host her daytime talk show for the first time since testing positive for the coronavirus last month.
In her opening monologue, the Emmy winner revealed that those COVID-19 test results had been delivered to her moments before she was due to begin filming an early December episode. The news prompted her to postpone production on her show through the start of 2021.
“I was in hair and makeup, getting my face powdered and my extensions put in,” DeGeneres quipped. “Then my assistant, Craig, walks in and says, ‘You’ve 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.”
Watch Ellen DeGeneres’ Jan. 13 monologue below.
DeGeneres left the studio shortly afterward and headed home, where she was required to self-isolate from friends and family, including wife Portia de Rossi.
Though the comedian didn’t experience such frequently cited COVID-19 symptoms as fever and sensory loss, she said she was put on pain medication and muscle relaxers for back spasms. Unfortunately, the drugs were of little help.
“My back got worse,” she said. “It felt like I cracked a rib.”
DeGeneres is now feeling better, although she noted she still isn’t sure where she contracted the coronavirus.
“I still don’t know where I got it,” she said. “I wear a mask. I wash my hands. I only licked three or four door handles. It’s a mystery to me.”
The remainder of Monday’s episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” was dedicated to current events with CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and CNN anchor Jake Tapper joining to discuss a troubling new strain of COVID-19, which has been identified in at least nine states, and last week’s Capitol Hill siege.