Tom Hanks writes letter to bullied 8-year-old named Corona

What You Need to Know: Tom Hanks

An Australian boy named Corona has been teased for his name since COVID-19 has dominated news amid the pandemic.

Corona DeVries, an 8-year-old from Queensland, told 9News that his classmates repeatedly called him “Coronavirus.”

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“They just kept on saying that. And I get really mad,” DeVries told the news channel.

DeVries wrote a letter to actor Tom Hanks, detailing his frustration and checking on Hanks after he and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, reported they were COVID-positive.

"I heard on the news you and your wife had caught the coronavirus," DeVries wrote. "Are you OK?"

"Your letter made my wife and I feel so wonderful," Hanks wrote in a response letter, dated April 10. “Thank you for being such a good friend -- friends make their friends feel good when they are down.”

Hanks continued:

“Getting your letter made me feel even better. You know, you are the only person I’ve ever known to have the name Corona – like the ring around the sun, a crown.”

In a package, Hanks included self-addressed envelopes for DeVries to respond, as well as a Corona-branded typewriter from Hanks’ personal collection.

“Ask a grown up how it works. And use it to write me back,” Hanks wrote.

DeVries said the gift made him feel special.

“He said I’m a friend of his,” DeVries told 9News in reference to Hanks’ signoff in his letter – “You’ve got a friend in me,” a nod to his role as Woody in the children’s “Toy Story” films.

DeVries said he plans to write back soon.

Hanks posted on social media that he and Wilson tested positive while in Australia in mid-March. The couple have since returned to their home in Los Angeles.

ROME, ITALY - OCTOBER 13: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson walk a red carpet on October 13, 2016 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - OCTOBER 13: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson walk a red carpet on October 13, 2016 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images) (Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)