Lifestyle & Human Interest

Tom Hanks Sends Letter to Bullied Age 8 Boy Named Corona


Childhood can be a wonderful time, but also a challenging time. A lot of hands-on learning takes place in the first decade of life, and any negative experiences can leave marks for the rest of a person’s life.

That’s why there’s such a push against bullying. Not only is it just unkind, but it can also have incredibly harmful or even fatal consequences.

One young man who recently felt the sting of bullying is Corona DeVries.

According to Australia’s Channel 7, some children at school had been calling him “coronavirus,” which understandably made him upset.

Thankfully, the 8-year-old had a confidant in a very well-known figure: Tom Hanks.

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It all began when Corona saw on the news that Hanks and his wife had tested positive for the virus. Concerned, the boy penned a note to the actor and his wife.

“I heard on the news you and your wife had caught the coronavirus,” he wrote. “Are you OK?”

Corona also explained that he’d been bullied lately for his name.

Not only did Hanks get the letter, but he also replied to the young man, voicing his thanks and support.

“Your letter made my wife and I feel so wonderful,” Hanks wrote back. “You know, you are the only person I’ve ever known to have the name Corona – like the ring around the sun, a crown.”

But there was something else that made the correspondence especially thoughtful. Hanks had a typewriter of the Corona variety, and he gifted it to the boy.

“I thought this typewriter would suit you,” he wrote to Corona. “Ask a grown-up how it works. And use it to write me back.”

Of course, he also finished off the letter with “P.S. You got a friend in me.”

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On his Instagram, Hanks shared a photo of a Corona typewriter and gave fans a good-natured update on his condition.

“Hey folks,” the post from March 17 reads. “Good News: One week after testing Positive, in self-isolation, the symptoms are much the same. No fever but the blahs. Folding the laundry and doing the dishes leads to a nap on the couch.”

“Bad news: My wife @ritawilson has won 6 straight hands of Gin Rummy and leads by 201 points. But I have learned not to spread my Vegemite so thick. I travelled here with a typewriter, one I used to love. We are all in this together. Flatten the curve.”

The gift, note and encouragement to write back was a clear pick-me-up for Corona.

“I feel like I’m famous,” the boy said. “He said I’m a friend of him … and I’m gonna write back soon.”

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