Tom Hanks has told how he wasted much of the past year in lockdown playing the mind-numbing card game Solitaire.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Hollywood’s Mr Nice Guy revealed he became hopelessly addicted to the one-man game during months of social isolation from the outside world.
Hanks, 64, says that because he had ‘no Zoom schooling sessions to enforce, no children to parent, no job to perform remotely’ he played many hands of Solitaire, and laments that he has ‘nothing to show for the effort’.
‘During a time of lockdowns, quarantines and social distancing, solitaire seemed like a harmless enterprise, a salve for the mind and the hands, a safety valve that meant having something to do,’ he wrote in the Journal.
‘The deck of cards was right there on the table, and, without thinking, my hands would take up that file of 52 to riff and shuffle and cut.’
In March last year, Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson announced to the world via Instagram they had Covid-19, becoming among the first major celebrities to catch the disease
The Forest Gump star encouraged others not to squander their time playing Solitaire, as he had done over lockdown
But Hanks laments that he had other things to do, from everyday chores such as cleaning out the sink, stacking the dishwasher and sorting laundry, to yoga stretches, reading and keeping in touch with his four children as well as friends and business partners.
The Saving Private Ryan star goes on to say he wishes he’d spent more time preparing for acting scenes, writing stories and exploring the ‘creative recesses’ of his mind.
And while Hanks admits he did spend some time on these pursuits, he wonders how much more he could have accomplished had he not fallen to the temptations of another hand of cards.
He wrote that Covid-19 had ‘taught us that life and health are precarious’.
He added: ‘This pandemic affected us all, costing so much, too much. Our time is limited and finite. Solitaire squanders what is precious. Don’t ever play solitaire again.’
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson battled Covid after being diagnosed with the disease in Australia in March, among the first celebrities to battle the illness
Hanks and wife Rita Wilson, also 64, caught the coronavirus on March 11 2020 in Australia while he was filming Baz Luhrmann’s film Elvis.
Their diagnosis came on the same day NBA star Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus, shutting down the NBA for months.
The couple started to feel ‘very tired and achy,’ and were taken to at Gold Coast University Hospital two days later.
Wilson’s Covid-19 symptoms were much worse than his, Hanks revealed in an interview with National Defense Radio Show.
‘Rita went through a tougher time than I did,’ said Hanks. ‘She had a much higher fever and she had some other symptoms. She lost her sense of taste and smell.’
Wilson also suffered crippling side-effects from taking hydroxychloroquine — which was administered due to her high fever — and caused her such extreme nausea that she had ‘to crawl on the floor from the bed to the facilities.’
On March 17 last year, Hanks shared with his millions of fans on Twitter and Instagram that his condition was beginning to improve.
And it’s possible that their recovery is where Hanks’ addiction to card games began.
He revealed that he and Wilson were playing cards and wife had won ‘6 straight hands of Gin Rummy and leads by 201 points’.
Tom Hanks revealed his penchant for playing cards in this social media post on March 17 last year.
The likeable actor has spoken publicly about how he can’t wait to get the vaccine, and will do so publicly to encourage others to do the same
In an interview with The Guardian last July, Hanks joked that he and Wilson became ‘the celebrity canaries in the coalmine of all things Covid-19’.
On the one-year anniversary of their diagnosis, Wilson praised the medical staff who cared for her and her husband.
‘I want to take a moment to say how grateful we are for our health,’ she wrote on March 7 this year.
‘I want to take a moment to say how grateful we are for our health, how thankful we are for the medical care we got in Queensland, and that we share in the sorrow of each person who lost a loved one to this virus.’
Hanks has previously said he and Wilson had donated blood to help researchers after the discovery of antibodies in their systems.
Hanks has also spoken publicly about how he can’t wait to get the vaccine, and will do so publicly to encourage others to do the same.
And despite swearing off Solitaire for life, Hanks is still keen on more sociable card games.
He signed off his Journal column saying: ‘Cribbage? With my son, who I rarely can beat? Anytime!’