Maynard James Keenan Got COVID-19 a Second Time, Wound Up in ER
Maynard James Keenan has just revealed that he contracted COVID-19 for a second time late last year. His symptoms were so extreme it prompted a trip to the emergency room, but due to occupancy problems at the hospital, he returned home to finish battling his ailments instead.
In October 2020, before the Tool, Puscifer and A Perfect Circle singer contracted COVID-19 again, Keenan revealed he was suffering from residual lung damage and inflammation in his hands and wrists after initially contracting the virus for the first time in late February.
As a guest on "Strombo," the Apple Music program hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos, Keenan spoke about Existential Reckoning, last year's release from Puscifer, while also divulging the problems he faced after contracting COVID-19 again in November.
"I got it like mid-November and ended up in the ER on December 1st. Ugly, ugly. Couldn't breathe. I could barely put two words together without going into a coughing fit," recounted the singer.
He ultimately faced compound health issues.
"It ended up kind of also progressing into pneumonia," Keenan relayed, before detailing the dire situation at the healthcare facility.
Keenan continued, "So, if I stayed in the hospital, they said, ‘Okay, we can keep you here, but you're fighting 12 other people for a bed and a ventilator we don't have, so what do you want to do?’ I'm like, ‘Well, I need to breathe and I need to sleep.'"
Realizing a hospital stay would be somewhat futile, he instead elected to recover at home. "You're just treating symptoms at that point," said the frontman of his healthcare needs at the time. "There's nothing you can do other than treat the symptom," he lamented, "so for a real cough medicine — not the crap over-the-counter — and then like an inhaler, and some antibiotics to fight the pneumonia and strap the fuck in."
Regarding Keenan's first fight with COVID-19, the singer weighed in on polarized views on the pandemic, namely the controversy over wearing a face mask to mitigate the spread of the virus.
"It's just an absurdity," Kennan told AZ Central. "We wear seatbelts. We don't smoke in trains, planes or taxis anymore, or even restaurants. There's reasons for those things. I don't know. I feel like there's this twist on the idea of personal freedom where somehow freedom is you being able to walk into anybody's house and take a dump on their meal or shout ugly things at their grandma. That's not what freedom is."
Elaborating on that concept, the frontman explained, "Freedom is the ability to pursue your lifestyle, pursue what you want to do for your family, for your future, what education you want to get. And with that freedom comes a responsibility to look out for yourself, for your neighbor, for your family, for everybody. So there are some compromises that come along with freedom. I'm not sure why that's so difficult to grasp."