Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan admits to having COVID while performing in NZ

Rock News 26/10/2020

By Dan Satherley of Newshub:

Tool singer Maynard James Keenan has revealed when he was in New Zealand earlier this year suffering from COVID-19, a Kiwi doctor told him he didn't have it. 

Keenan earlier this month revealed he had the deadly virus when his band came to New Zealand for a show at Spark Arena at the end of February. A fan tested positive for COVID-19 five days after attending the show.

It wasn't clear from that interview if he knew it was COVID-19, but he's now clarified he had no idea until afterwards.

I'm in Australia. We went out to dinner... and immediately food didn't taste right.

He told podcast host Joe Rogan. Losing one's sense of smell is often one of the first symptoms of a COVID-19 infection, but that wasn't known at the time.

"I immediately was sick, then I had to get on an international flight the next morning, fly to New Zealand," he continued, joking that he might have been the first one to bring it here (the actual first case was about a week earlier).

"So we got there, I was like four days in the hotel. Cause we have four days off before the shows. So I was just drinking water, hot showers, taking care of myself, hot tea, just trying to get through it and it sucked. But you didn't know yet that like what, how bad this thing could have been. If I'd have known how bad it could have been I would have been freaking out."

He went to a doctor who went over his symptoms, and said he didn't have COVID-19 - so the band's show at Spark Arena went ahead. 

It was not, it was not fun. We had to kind of adjust to set around a little bit, don't put the hard ones in.

It wasn't until after they'd left New Zealand that Keenan discovered he'd survived COVID-19. He was trying to do some martial arts in Hawaii, but his hands hurt.

"I thought well maybe I sprained my wrist, so months go by that they're not healing... I finally went to a doctor, an arthritis doctor, and he was like 'okay so walk me through when you first saw...' And I started walking him through everything he goes, 'You had COVID.'"

He's a long-hauler too - people who contract COVID and recover, but have ongoing issues.

"I still have the cough. So whatever cough I had, whatever cough I got in New Zealand, like every other day, I'll have a coughing fit for, you know, for 10 minutes, coughing up stuff, so I have lung damage from from it still."

Later in the podcast he took shot at conspiracy theorists who say the virus is a hoax, telling them to "eat a d**k". 

In the earlier interview, he encouraged his fellow Americans to follow scientists' advice and wear masks. 

"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."

Newshub