Maynard James Keenan spoke with AZ Central recently, where the Tool frontman discussed a COVID-19 diagnosis he received back in February, and the lingering effects still present months later.
While the interview with AZ Central‘s Ed Masley began with talk about Puscifer‘s forthcoming Existential Reckoning album, the conversation quickly turned to COVID, as Keenan revealed he had been diagnosed earlier this year.
Masley asked Keenan about how he dealt with having his year, and Tool’s touring schedule, upended as a result of COVID, and the singer-songwriter shocked the reported by revealing his diagnosis.
“I was still recovering from having gotten COVID at the end of February,” he said. “I survived it, but it wasn’t pretty.”
“I had to go through some major medications to undo the residual effects,” Keenan continued. “I still have the cough. 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, a rheumatoid arthritis. Basically, from what I understand, it attacks weird spots and it’s random.”
Keenan then explained how the disease took a few of his family members, in addition to infecting several of his friends who were young and in shape.
During the middle portion of the interview, Keenan provided some very compelling insight into the issue of personal freedoms and liberties as it relates to the ongoing pandemic. Masley asked him about the issue of masks and the choices people make when deciding whether or not to wear them. Keenan’s response left nothing to the imagination.
“Yeah, that’s ridiculous. It’s just an absurdity. We wear seatbelts. We don’t smoke in trains, planes or taxis anymore, or even restaurants. There’s reasons for those things,” he argued. “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.”
While he believes that it’s a simple concept, Keenan did admit that he knows people disagree. In fact, he took the time to explain that outside of the anonymity of the internet, intelligent discussions are possible.
“I have friends that disagree, and we have civil discussions about it. That’s what you do. You have civil discussions with the understanding that the idea is we want the best for everybody. So if we disagree, let’s have a conversation about it. If we have the same goal, we should figure out if we’re just looking at it from different perspectives.”