During last night’s episode of The Rachel Maddow Show, Out100 honoree Rachel Maddow spoke with viewers about her recent absence from the show as she was required to quarantine for two weeks after being exposed to the somtimes-fatal virus at the center of the ongoing global pandemic.
In the seven-minute segment, Maddow confirmed she in fact tested negative for the virus and that it was her partner of 21 years, Susan Mikula, who had tested positive. In the heartfelt message, she shared that Mikula had been so sick at one point that they thought she would not survive.
Thankfully, Mikula is feeling better and is on the road to recovery, but the MSNBC host used her personal ordeal to express to viewers the impact the pandemic has on all of us — and why America should take it seriously during the upcoming holidays.
“My relationship with Susan is the only thing at the end of the day that I would kill or die for without hesitation,” she said, explaining that Mikula is the “organizing principle” of her life, referring to herself as a satellite and Mikula, the planet in which she revolves around. “Susan has been sick with [the vrus] 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.”
“Susan tested positive two weeks ago. We separated from each other that day,” she said. “She and I have both been alone since then while I’ve continued to test. I’ve stayed negative. She’s not only been positive all this time, but she’s gotten sicker and sicker while I tried to care for her while still staying physically apart from her. The bottom line is she’s going be fine. She’s still sick, but she’s going to be OK. We’re not scared like we were, but it really didn’t feel like it was going OK at the onset.”
“I don’t know you at home except through this medium,” she added. ‘But just believe me, whatever you have calculated in your life as acceptable risk, as inevitable risk, something you’re willing to go through in terms of this virus because statistically it will be fine for you and your loved ones, I’m just here to tell you to recalibrate that. Frankly, the country needs you to recalibrate that because broadly speaking there’s no room for you in the hospital any more.”
Indeed, there are more people in the hospital than we’ve ever had during the course of the pandemic. As Maddow points out, that number has gone up 50 percent in two weeks.
“Whatever you think of your own life and however much risk you’re willing to take on yourself, that’s not how this works,” she said. “What you need to know is whoever is the most important person in your life, whoever you most love, most cherish for in this world, that’s the person who you may lose or who you may spend weeks freaking out about, calling doctors all over the place all night long trying to figure out how to keep that person breathing and out of the hospital.”
She added, “Don’t get this thing. Do whatever you can to keep from getting it,” before urging viewers to follow the CDC’s warning against traveling during the holiday break and instead celebrate with family and friends virtually.
“I’m guessing that you might be willing to risk yourself, after all these months and all this time, it’s so frustrating,” she said. “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. This thing does not give you that choice.”