The comedian learned she had tested positive for the coronavirus just before she was due to film an early December episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, prompting producers to immediate shut the set down and scrap upcoming filming.
The show went dark for a month and Ellen returned this week to shoot the first episode back, which aired on Wednesday (January 13, 2021).
During her opening monologue, the Finding Dory star opened up about her health battle and her quarantine.
“I went home, I had to quarantine and (wife) Portia made me sleep in a different room, on a different bed, because she wanted the race car bed all to herself,” she quipped.
“The first three days I slept for 16 hours a day and then on the fourth day I woke up with back spasms, and I thought I had pulled a muscle or slept weird because I was in a different bed, but it just persisted.
“The doctor put me on pain pills and muscle relaxers… The painkillers did not help, my back got worse. It felt like I cracked a rib. You know how I make you laugh so hard that your ribs hurt? That’s how it was like for me. Now I know how you feel when I make you laugh.”
Ellen also revealed she still has no idea how she contracted COVID: “I wear a mask, I wash my hands, I only licked three or four door handles,” she joked. “It’s a mystery to me.”