Jared Leto Says Learning About COVID Pandemic After Silent Retreat Was Like a 'Zombie Apocalypse'

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Jared Leto is remembering what it felt like to learn about the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, right after having been on a 12-day silent meditation.

The Little Things actor spoke to Jimmy Fallon about his experience on Monday's episode of The Tonight Show, recalling that "there were about 150 cases" of coronavirus when he went away on his retreat.

"And just in that short amount of time, when I came out, there was a shutdown, a state of emergency and the whole world had changed," said Leto, 49.

According to the Oscar winner, the people who were running the retreat "didn't tell" participants what was going on, as it went against the entire point of the getaway.

"We didn't have our phones; there was no talking, of course, no eye contact, no TV. And the teachers [made] a decision: 'Let's not disturb the participants,' " Leto told Fallon, 46.

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Leto said he felt "kind of shocked" once he turned his phone back on as he was headed back home to Los Angeles.

"I drove the whole way trying to be peaceful and zen, keep the feeling going. I got back and I was kind of shocked. It was like Rip Van Winkle," he explained.

And while the Suicide Squad star "had this great tool to deal with stress and things in life," he admitted, "I don't think anything can quite prepare any us for what we all went through in the beginning."

"It was like coming out to the zombie apocalypse," Leto said.

Leto first revealed back in March that he had been on a "silent meditation in the desert" and was shocked to see how much the world had changed upon his return.

"We were totally isolated. No phone, no communication etc. We had no idea what was happening outside the facility," the actor wrote on Instagram. "Walked out yesterday into a very different world. One that's been changed forever. Mind blowing — to say the least."

Since coming back into society, the Thirty Seconds to Mars lead singer explained that he'd been "getting messages from friends and family around the globe and catching up on what's going on."

"Hope you and yours are ok. Sending positive energy to all. Stay inside. Stay safe," Leto closed out the post.

The Little Things is out Friday in theaters and on HBO Max.

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