Idris Elba had never sounded so serious - not even when shooting down questions about whether he wanted to be the next James Bond.
"Stay positive and don't freak out," the actor told his 2.9 million Twitter followers on Monday. "This morning I got some test results back for coronavirus. And it came back positive. Yeah, and it sucks."
Elba (47) added he was "doing okay" and wasn't experiencing any symptoms. But he was at pains to stress this wasn't a time to give in to fear. It was a time for "solidarity" and for honesty.
"Transparency is probably the best thing right now. If you're feeling ill or you feel like you should be tested or that you could be exposed… do something about it."
The Luther star is just the latest celebrity to contract Covid-19. Last week the coronavirus penny seemed to drop in earnest when we woke to news that Donald Trump was shuttering US borders to the citizens of the Schengen area (quickly extended to Ireland and Britain), that NBA basketball had been cancelled - and that Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson had tested positive.
Of the three bombshells, for many people it was the news about Tom Hanks that resounded the loudest. The everyman actor is that rare A-lister whom we feel we could talk to as though they were a regular person, were our paths ever to cross. Elba, by contrast, is a bit of an uber-geezer - the most charismatic guy in the room.
But now he and Hanks were united as coronavirus sufferers. Closer to home, a large chunk of the nation did a double-take late on Monday when Claire Byrne popped up on our screens from her garden shed.
With cold-like symptoms she was being sensible and self-isolating as she presented Claire Byrne Live. There is no reason to suspect she has coronavirus. But she was pragmatically not taking chances.
Hanks and Wilson have since recovered. And Elba seems in good health - if understandably shaken. Still, simply by speaking up and sharing their diagnoses with the public they will have gone a considerable way in fighting the stigma about Covid-19.
"It's generally a good thing when high-profile people declare vulnerability, and that 'life' happens to them also," says therapist Tom Evans, who is running one-to-one 30-minute online "nervous-system-calming" sessions via his selfcare.ie website to help with coronavirus fear, anxiety and panic. "We get to see they are human too, and just as susceptible to loss and other distress.
"That reassurance helps us feel less isolated, less alone, and so we'll feel stronger. It may be subtle and we might not catch it in awareness but it's there. On the other hand, an example of a celebrity self-declaration being unhelpful might be if that celebrity portrays themselves as a martyr. Then our reaction towards them can be for them to 'get off the cross as we need the wood' so to speak."
When reports of the outbreak of a new strain of virus in China first reached Ireland in January, they were easy to dismiss as someone else's problem. But as Covid-19 grew closer and closer, so the stigma about becoming infected has increased.
That's true even in the absence of a positive test. A New York Times report about the cruise ship Westerdam quarantined over Covid-19 fears revealed that, even given the all-clear, passengers nonetheless discovered they were now pariahs.
"As the virus spreads, a growing number of people across the country are living under the cloud of having been associated with it, however remotely," went the report. "Some have had longtime friends and neighbours disappear on them. Others have had babysitters abruptly quit."
"The current Covid-19 outbreak has provoked social stigma and discriminatory behaviour against people of certain ethnic backgrounds as well as anyone perceived to have been in contact with the virus," warned a recent UNICEF report.
"When fear grips us, we'll fight, take flight or we'll freeze. Fight takes many forms - one being to attack in the form of attaching stigma. It is a defensive reaction," says Tom Evans.
"Yes it is not okay, it is toxic, but something that hurt people often do. Mr Trump is doing it right now, saying it's a 'Chinese virus'. He is of course setting up his own escape hatch. We also saw it happen in the '80s during the early years of what became the AIDs epidemic.
"It was erroneously labelled a virus that sought out the gay community. That was a wrong and shameful presentation and added enormously to the suffering of those impacted, and caused deep distress and shame to a whole sector of society.
"Threat such as this provokes more primitive responses - for example, fights in the aisles for toilet paper," he continues.
"Those deeper less-evolved reactions emanate from lower-brain, in evolutionary terms. They are part of our core survival instinct.
"Whereas the 'we are all in this together' [reaction] is from a more recently evolved part of our brain structure.
"When we feel threatened, we all have the capacity for that primitive response. So we all have that capacity within - for polar opposite responses - from charity to theft, love and hate, good and evil."
This isn't just unfortunate for the stigmatised parties, UNICEF warns. It can actively complicate attempts to contain the contagion.
"It is understandable that there is confusion, anxiety and fear among the public," says Unicef. "Stigma can undermine social cohesion and prompt possible isolation of groups, which might contribute to a situation where the virus is more, not less, likely to spread. This can result in more severe health problems and difficulties controlling a disease outbreak."
Could celebrities speaking out help fight the (perfectly understandable) compulsion to run screaming for the hills (well, the attic now we're all cooped up at home) at first mention of the "C" word? It can certainly only be a positive.
The recovery of Hanks and his wife, both in their sixties, is a reminder, too, that, though every precaution should be taken to avoid catching or spreading Covid-19, a positive diagnosis is not a necessarily a death sentence.
In addition, celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, who have not contracted the virus, have been making public information videos regarding the importance of social distancing and washing our hands. Everything helps.
"Seeing a potential James Bond like Idris Elba testing positive humanises him even more in our eyes," says Tom Evans. "It also reassures us at a deeper level - that nobody is invulnerable. It provides confirmation that we are all in this together."