None of us will forget where we were when we lived through the time of the coronavirus. The rising death toll and drastic measures implemented to stop the virus' spread will always stay in most people's memory as a generation-defining moment that affected the entire world. 

Actor Idris Elba — who was one of the first major stars to test positive for COVID-19 early on in the crisis — caught heat earlier this week for telling the Associated Press that everyone should quarantine once each year as a way to remember what happened.


“During the time of crisis, you know, you kind of want to be close to home, I think that the world should dedicate a week of quarantine every year just to remember this time and remember each other, I really do. Other species use it, it’s called hibernation, but it does remind you that the world doesn’t tick on your time,” Elba told the Associated Press in an interview with his wife Sabrina Dhowre Elba

Elba made the comments during a longer interview about his new role as a United Nations goodwill ambassador. Elba and his wife are working with the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to kickstart a new $40 million fund to help farmers and food producers in rural areas.

It was clear where TV host Wendy Williams stood on the actor’s remarks. The popular talk show host had a lot to say about Elba's comment, trashing him for even mentioning the idea.

“He feels as though he’s an authoritarian on telling us what to do. ... Is he serious? I don’t need to be reminded of this. This is something you’ll never forget. Will you ever forget it? Do you have to self-quarantine, next year this time? I don’t," Williams said during the Wednesday edition of her show. 


"Idris, sit down. First of all, I love being in my home, so it’s nothing for me to stay in the house for a week. But, I don’t need to do it to self-reflect on this disaster going on right now,” Williams added.

While the remarks seemed pretty uncontroversial to some, others took issue with them. On social media, some people said their experience during the coronavirus crisis was not something they would ever want to be reminded of.

Others mentioned that the 47-year-old actor could make the statement because he was largely unaffected by the crisis, as opposed to those who lost family members or jobs because of it.

Despite his comments, the Associated Press interview with Elba focused mostly on his new efforts to help people living in Africa who have been hurt financially by the coronavirus crisis. 

Both Elba and his wife have roots in Africa and are worried about what the long-term damage to some African economies will be. They're hoping to help IFAD secure $200 million from governments worldwide in addition to the $40 million they are trying to raise themselves.

“If you imagine being in a village where no one even knows the name of your village or your population, and that you live in a slum where there is one room and six of you live in it. Social distancing is almost laughable," he said.

“We have to think about the forward planning. What’s the fallout going to be?” Elba told the news outlet.