A Boy Named Corona Was Bullied in School So Tom Hanks Wrote a Letter to Him

Before 2020, the word ‘Corona’ would’ve made a beautiful name, unmarked by any controversy and distinctly reminiscent of the beer brand, which would surely trigger some bountiful, subjectively high memories.

Image: drizly.com

However, Post-2020 is a whole different ball game altogether.

With the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, also came the utter discolouration of the term. Gone was the bright, beautiful interpretation of the word, the term ‘Corona’ is now a scapegoat for its more illustrious, terrifying counterpart.

Image: Forbes

Which is a truly depressing notion, considering how retrospectively…

The word’s technically innocent.

A Boy Named Corona Was Bullied in School So Tom Hanks Wrote a Letter to Him

Meet Corona De Vries, who’s eight years of age. Before 2020, his name would have topped the list of sweetest sounding names on the school register and (probably) acted as a form of fetish for prepubescent girls dazzled by alcoholic-sounding monikers. After all, is any other name as beautiful and refined as his?

“Jerry!” my colleague yelled.

Right, moving on. Just as Corona De Vries was getting used to school life (I would presume), something happened:


In came the terrifying implication of the word ‘Corona’, and out went the formerly grandiose-sounding interpretation of the term. And as Corona De Vries would ultimately find out…

Bullies seem to have the most shallow of gauges when it comes to name-picking.

But before I continue, allow me to pen the story of a certain Tom Hanks, and his lovely wife Rita Wilson.

Image: ABC News

So lest you’re unaware, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson were two of the first internationally recognised celebrities to test positive for Covid-19.

After the startling revelation, the celebrity couple retreated to the Gold Coast in March to recover and are now back in the United States after making a full recovery. And that leads us right back to the story.

During the couple’s recovery period, Tom Hanks received a letter from one of his fans, which wouldn’t exactly have been worthy of note considering the sheer number of fans Mr Forrest Gump has all around the world. But this particular letter? It was a little different.

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

He then added that he loved his own name, but was being nicknamed at school.

“I get very sad and angry when people call me this,” he wrote.

The boy’s name is none other than Corona De Vries, and he was being called “Coronavirus” at school.

A Corona-brand Typewriter

Without a reply, this article could never have materialised. And to that end, Tom Hanks certainly delivered.

“Dear Friend Corona,” Hanks started.

“Your letter made my wife and I feel so wonderful! Thank you for being such a good friend – friends make friends feel good when they are down.


“You are the only person I’ve ever known to have the name Corona – like the ring around the sun, a crown.”

According to reports, Hanks also sent a Corona-brand typewriter to the boy. The Oscar-winning actor is said to have used it during his quarantine in the city.

“I thought this typewriter would suit you,” he said. “I had taken it to the Gold Coast, and now, it is back – with you. Ask a grown-up how it works. And use it to write me back.”

While we’re on the topic, here’s a picture of how the typewriter looks like:


Reader Bao: What a unique keyboard. Is it wireless?

Go away, Bao.

Anyways, truly, kudos, Tom Hanks. Even in the midst of your own personal battle, you were still thoughtful enough to reassure a young fan that his name, no matter what anyone else says…

Is beautiful as it is.

Incidentally, Hanks also hard-wrote a phrase at the end of the letter:


“PS! You got a friend in ME!”

According to reports, Corona had reached out to Hanks because of the latter’s role as Woody in the Toy Story series.

Well, well, what do you know;

Even in real life, Woody is still helping children out.

Image: wifflegif.com


After the boy received the typewriter, the De Vries family notified Australian media outlet Nine News that Corona was “excited to get a new friend in the US”.

It’s unclear, however, whether the young boy has started on his follow-up letter via the appointed typewriter. He might be like my friend Ah Bao who’s still trying to find the USB for the “keyboard”.

As for Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, the pair has recovered and returned to Los Angeles, where they donated blood and “are waiting to hear back if (their) antibodies will be helpful in developing a vaccine”.

During their quarantine period, the Oscar-winning actor professed to feeling “wiped”.


“I was wiped after 12 minutes” of exercising so he “laid down in [his] hospital bed and just slept.”

However, his wife reportedly faced worse.

“She had a much higher fever and she had some other symptoms,” he said. “She lost her sense of taste and sense of smell. She got absolutely no joy from food for actually the better part of three weeks.”

In fact, she had to be treated with the anti-malarial drug chloroquine, which triggered a wave of severe nausea that rendered her near-immobile.

“She was so nauseous she had to crawl on the floor from the bed to the facilities,” he said.

Just some context: both Tom Hanks and his wife are 63 years old, so they’re considered “high-risk”.

With that in mind, I hope that the celebrity couple will continue to keep safe, as there are cases of Covid-19 ‘re-infections’. And to the young boy in question;

Keep loving your name, because your name’s as innocent and beautiful as they come. 🙂

This Singapore love story set in the 90s shows you why you should never wait for tomorrow. Watch it without crying:

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