‘Today Show:’ Hoda Kotb Returns from the Flu and Shares a Kind Gesture That Almost Brought Her To Tears

Fans of the Today Show were thrilled to see Hoda Kotb back in the anchor chair after her week-long battle with the flu. Catching up with Jenna Bush Hager during Today With Hoda & Jenna, the NBC co-host talked about the support she received from family and friends while she was sidelined.

"Today Show's" Hoda Kotb on "Watch What Happens Live"
Hoda Kotb of the “Today Show” | Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Missing Hoda

On March 2, viewers tuned in to Today and noticed a familiar face was absent from the news desk.

“If you’re missing Hoda, so are we. Guess what, she’s got the flu,” Today co-anchor Savannah Guthrie announced last Monday, as reported by People. “And we think she’ll be out ’til probably mid week, maybe longer. So we’re sending her our best wishes this morning… She did get the flu shot for those who are wondering.”

Turns out Kotb was out for a full week, making her return to work this morning much to the delight of her fans. “I feel 100 percent better,” the Today star shared. “I can’t believe the flu does hit like a hammer; I know a lot of folks have it. But [I’m] back in business, rested and ready.”

Support during sickness

Being fully hit by the illness, Kotb knew she had to take it easy. “It’s funny how it can knock you flat for a few days,” Kotb told Bush Hager, according to People“You really have to listen to your body and say, ‘I’m going to drink soup, I’m going to stay in bed.’”

The mom of two wanted to be sure not to pass the sickness on to her two daughters, Haley, 3, and Hope, almost 1. “That was kind of my real fear,” Kotb revealed of worrying her kids would catch it. Yet her oldest daughter rose to the challenge of helping out while her mom was sick.

“I felt kind of worn out and when I was talking to Hayley, I felt like she felt that,” Kotb said. “Kids really do respond to the energy you give off and I think I gave off, ‘I might need a little help here.’ And she responded, which I found so beautiful and touching and sweet.”

Kotb also received support from friends, recalling one pal who surprised her by bringing a simple comfort to help her feel better. The caring gesture meant the world to the Today anchor.

“A friend of mind came to my bedroom door with a hot tea, unannounced, and I opened up the door and I literally almost started crying,” Kotb shared. “I think you realize, whatever it is — and this is a small thing, so whatever — but this just reminded me, if you know someone who is not feeling their best, just send some love somehow.”

Fans welcome Kotb back

For her first day back since falling ill with the flu, Kotb posted an inspirational quote on her Instagram page by L.R. Knost. “Taking care of myself doesn’t mean ‘me first.’ It means ‘me too,'” the quote read, along with Kotb’s caption, “Let’s start this week by taking care of ourselves.. happy Monday xo.”

Kotb’s followers applauded the post and sent their well wishes to welcome her back. “Yes indeed that’s exactly what it means but as mums we forget to take care of ourselves… Hoda l love watching you everyday… you always put a smile on my face so for that thank you and keep on keeping on,” one fan wrote.

“I’m still learning that everyday. Blessings to you and your Beautiful Family,” a follower commented. “Hope you are feeling better Hoda!” another wrote. “Nice start of the week!” one follower posted.

Viewers are clearly happy that Kotb is back where she belongs each morning!