Metro Weekly

Rachel Maddow calls partner’s COVID experience “scary as hell”

Maddow delivered a monologue from quarantine urging viewers to take the coronavirus seriously

Rachel Maddow, covid, partner, msnbc
Rachel Maddow — Photo: MSNBC

Rachel Maddow delivered a stark warning to those who continue to ignore COVID-19 restrictions and eschew masks and other preventative measures after her partner of 21 years Susan Mikula contracted the coronavirus.

Speaking on MSNBC on Thursday, Maddow revealed that at one point she feared Mikula wouldn’t survive, calling the experience “scary as hell,” the Advocate reports.

The emotional monologue came while Maddow continues to quarantine at home, after announcing just before Election Day that Mikula, who she called the “organizing principle” of her life, had tested positive.

“My relationship with Susan, at the end of the day, is the only thing that I would kill or die for without hesitation,” Maddow said. “And Susan has been sick with COVID these past couple of weeks. At one point, we really thought that there was a possibility that it might kill her, and that’s why I’ve been away.”

Maddow said that Mikula had “gotten sicker and sicker while I tried to care for her while still staying physically apart from her,” adding that she is now “recovering. We’re not scared like we were.”

The host of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show then offered a somber message to viewers, urging them to take the coronavirus seriously.

“Whatever you have calculated into your life as acceptable risk, as inevitable risk, something that you’re willing to go through in terms of this virus because statistically, hey, probably it will be fine for you and your loved ones, I’m just here to tell you to recalibrate that,” Maddow said. “Frankly, the country needs you to recalibrate that, because, broadly speaking, there’s no room for you in the hospital anymore.”

She noted that there are “more people in the hospital right now than we’ve had since the beginning of this epidemic. It’s gone up 50 percent in two weeks… So, for the sake of the country, you really can’t get sick and need to go to the hospital right now. The only way to ensure that is to ensure that you do not get infected.”

Maddow urged viewers to rethink how much risk they are willing to accept with regards the virus, noting, “That’s not how this works.”

“What you need is that whoever is the most important person in your life, whoever you most love and most care for and most cherish in the world, that’s the person who you may lose,” she said. “Or who you may spend weeks, up all night, freaking out about, calling doctors all over the place over and over again all night long trying to figure out how to keep that person breathing and out of the hospital.”

Specifically, she urged people to rethink their Thanksgiving plans and “do whatever you can to keep from getting [COVID-19.]”

“For Thanksgiving next week, you really are just going to have to have it at home, without people coming over,” Maddow said. “And yeah, that’s going to suck. But that is going to suck so much less than you or somebody in your family getting this and getting sick. Trust me.”

She added: “I’m guessing that you might be willing to risk yourself, especially after all these months and all this time, it’s so frustrating. I would have done anything. I would have moved mountains for it to have been me who was sick these past couple of weeks instead of Susan. I still would give anything for that. But this thing does not give you that choice.”

In her final appeal, Maddow again urged viewers not to “play the odds” because “you don’t get that choice. It won’t necessarily be you, it will be the person you most care about in the world.”

She continued: “This thing is scary as hell. Whatever you’ve been willing to do to risk getting it, don’t do it.”

Read More:

Karine Jean-Pierre, lesbian political trailblazer, on shortlist for White House press secretary

Anti-LGBTQ Republican who claimed Bible was his “vaccine” gets COVID-19

Mondaire Jones, historymaking gay congressman, elected House freshman leader

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!