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After COVID-19, Arrow’s Stephen Amell urges fans to ‘be smart’ about taking risks

By Benjamin Bullard
Stephen Amell

Arrow alum Stephen Amell went through what sounds like a full-scale bout with COVID-19 sometime over the past several weeks, only recently going public with his experience. In a recent podcast, the Oliver Queen actor said “one of the reasons” he decided to share his ordeal, after the fact, is to counter “a lot of fear-mongering going on” regarding the coronavirus.

According to Amell, his own brush with the illness never caused him to run a fever, but it did have other effects — some of them pretty dramatic. In a chat with Michael Rosenbaum for the latest episode of Rosenbaum’s Inside of You podcast, Amell said that he lost his appetite, dropping about 15 pounds over the course of three weeks, while also experiencing other symptoms.

“For two nights, I was up every couple of hours, vacillating between freezing cold and boiling hot,” he said. “And I would be freezing cold because I sweat through all my stuff. So I get up, dry off, change my clothes, get back into bed, warm up — and then start sweating again. And the cycle would just repeat.”

Amell isolated himself well away from everyone involved in making Heels, his current wrestling-focused series at Starz, as soon as he tested positive for the illness. His early fear, he said, wasn’t for what the coronavirus might do to him, but what his diagnosis might mean for the cast and crew.

“I'm in my head going, ’S***! They're going to have to shut down the production!’” he recalled. “‘We're not yet done with the first block of two episodes. Did I just ruin this?’” Thankfully, the series shut down only for a day, as the team switched gears and began filming scenes that didn’t require Amell’s presence. “What they were able to do is mind boggling, quite frankly… not everyone has the luxury of taking two weeks off,” he said.

Thankfully, the 39 year-old actor is back in fine shape after weathering the illness, joking that he even feels up for body-slamming former NFL Pro Bowler and current Heels co-star James Harrison. But coming down with the illness did leave him with one takeaway that he wants to share with fans.

“Yeah, I'm a retired superhero, but last thing from me,” he said. “…My anxiety came from the idea that I would be letting hundreds of people down…I didn't have anxiety about the fact that I would give it to other people, which again I possibly did, which is unsettling in and of itself. But, you have to understand that because of this anxiety, I have actively, actively, actively tried to avoid contracting this virus. And guess what? I f****** got it anyway. So be smart.”

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