The West Wing and Man of Steel actor Richard Schiff was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this month. After sharing that initial diagnosis with fans, Schiff's condition took a turn, as worsening symptoms of the novel coronavirus forced the actor into the hospital, where he required oxygen for breathing assistance. However, two days later we are happy to report that Richard Schiff is updating fans with the news that he is now off of oxygen and feeling hopeful about soon leaving the hospital altogether. He also let fans know that his wife, actress Sheila Kelley, is also doing better now:
Covid update.— Richard Schiff (@Richard_Schiff) November 18, 2020
I was just taken off Oxygen!!
Markers are down. Cautiously optimistic for release soon. Perhaps all the prayers and thoughts need a big thank you. @thesheilakelley also doing better. Let’s keep sending positivity to everyone out there struggling. We got your back! https://t.co/bjDSlXMqSY
"Covid update. I was just taken off Oxygen!! Markers are down. Cautiously optimistic for release soon. Perhaps all the prayers and thoughts need a big thank you. @thesheilakelley also doing better. Let's keep sending positivity to everyone out there struggling. We got your back!" -Richard Schiff
At the age of 65, Richard Schiff is certainly in the age range where a COVID-19 diagnosis becomes especially concerning. Those of senior citizen age are considered to be in one of the more vulnerable populations out there; the true nightmare of COVID-19 though, is how fast things can take a drastic turn with the disease. Case in point: it was only about a week's time between Schiff confirming he has COVID-19, to having his symptoms get so serious he needed oxygen assistance.
Right now, it seems Schiff is one of the more fortunate ones: many who take such bad turns with COVID-19 end up hospitalized for weeks, while a frightening percentage of them never leave the hospital alive. Even when people recover, from serious respiratory issues related to the disease, there's growing statistical evidence that they are afflicted with serious breathing troubles thereafter. That's all to say: COVID-19 is indeed not something for anyone to be taking lightly, at this point.
That said, as of writing this the wave of COVID-19 infections is once again exploding in the US. Daily new records are being set for new infections (now upwards of 170K/day); there are 11 million confirmed cases (keyword: "confirmed"); and over 250K Americans have died as a result of the virus or related health complications. That's not even tallying the emotional and financial toll the pandemic has taken on families and businesses - including the Hollywood industry Schiff works in.
We wish Richard Schiff a speedy and complete recovery.