Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan revealed he had been diagnosed with COVID-19 back in February, and continues to suffer from lung damage following the diagnosis, according to a new interview with AZ Central. Keenan has been active on social media since the pandemic first began, asking fans to follow CDC guidelines and wear masks in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
“I’m still dealing with the residual effects,” Keenan said to AZ Central. “But it was ugly. I survived it, but it wasn’t pretty […] I kind of didn’t want to run around screaming it. But it’s real. And there’s after-effects. I had to go through some major medications to undo the residual effects. Still coughing. There’s still lung damage.”
Keenan went on to explain that several of his friends and family had also been diagnosed with COVID-19, and that some family members succumbed to the virus. For those who survived, Keenan stated that they, too, have been dealing with the after-effects of the coronavirus.
“I still have the cough,” Keenan said to AZ Central. “Every other day, I have these coughing fits because my lungs are still damaged at the tips. And I just got over the inflammation that was going on with my wrist and hands. I had an autoimmune attack on my system in the form of, like, rheumatoid arthritis. Basically, from what I understand, it attacks weird spots and it’s random. So that’s what I got. That was my prize.”
Due to the fact that COVID-19 is a relatively new virus, with the first confirmed case occurring in November of last year, the long-term effects of the virus are almost entirely unknown. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms can persist for months with damage to the lungs, heart and brain.
While many people have appeared to make a full recovery following their coronavirus diagnosis, some of the damage from COVID-19 in others appears to be permanent, with scarring on lung tissue, reduced lung capacity, possibility of blood clots and potential stroke. More extreme cases have involved a double lung transplant for a young woman in her 20s, otherwise healthy and asymptomatic college athletes at risk for heart attacks or blood clots in the legs leading to amputation. It is currently unknown if symptoms will last for months, years or a lifetime.
Support groups have been formed for a number of COVID survivors who are finding themselves to be living with lesser-known long-term effects. Some of the symptoms include “brain fog” and cognitive memory loss, chronic flu-like symptoms, nerve damage and more, with no definitive end in sight.
Keenan commented on how the virus spread so quickly throughout the United States, saying it was due to “arrogance” from citizens choosing not to wear masks in the name of “freedom.” He urged for Americans to “rediscover compassion” in order to help slow the spread of the virus, which has already killed over 213,220 people and infected 7,680,900 in the United States alone.
Keenan is far from the only musician to have been diagnosed with COVID-19. OK Go’s lead singer, Damian Koulash, revealed in May that both he and his wife had the virus. Madonna, Marianne Faithfull, Wreckless Eric, Will Carrol of Death Angel and Durran Duran’s John Taylor also all revealed that they had tested positive for the coronavirus. Back in April, Christopher Cross revealed that he had been temporary paralyzed following his COVID-19 diagnosis.
A number of musicians passed away after having been diagnosed with the coronavirus, including John Prine, Rev. John Wilkins, Dave Greenfield of The Stranglers, Hal Willner, Ellis Marsalis Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne, Wallace Roney and Manu Dibango. While an official cause of death has yet to be announced, reggae artist Toots Hibbert passed away after showing symptoms for the coronavirus.
With a vaccine yet to be available, citizens of the world continue to be encouraged to stay home as often as they can. When going outside, everyone is encouraged to wear masks and maintain social distancing so as to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Photo credit: Marv Watson