Rachel Maddow’s opening segment on Thursday night, from quarantine at her home, was unlike any other.
Broadcasting from her home where she has been quarantining for the past two weeks, Maddow offered a somber explanation — Susan Mikula, her partner of 21+ years, “the center of my life,” has been sick with COVID: “At one point, we really thought it was a possibility it might kill her and that’s why I’ve been away.”
“My relationship with Susan is the only thing in my life that I would kill or die for without hesitation,” said Maddow.
Maddow said Susan tested positive two weeks ago and they separated that day.
“She and I have both been alone since then,” Maddow explained. “I’ve continued to test. I’ve stayed negative. And she’s not only been positive, she’s gotten sicker and sicker while I tried to care for her while still staying physically apart from her. The bottom line is that she’s gonna be fine. She’s recovering, we’re not scared anymore like we were.”
“I don’t know you at home, but just believe me,” Maddow added. “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 it probably 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 in the hospital for you anymore.”
“Please also know that what ever you think of your own life, and however much risk you are willing to take on for yourself, that’s not how this works,” Maddow continued. “What you need to know 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 you may lose.”
“Don’t get this thing,” Maddow pleaded. “Do whatever you can to keep from getting it. For Thanksgiving next week, you really are going to have to just have it at home. Without people coming over. And yeah, that’s gonna suck. But that’s gonna suck so much less than you or somebody in your family getting this and getting sick. Trust me.”
“I’m guessing that you might be willing to risk yourself. Especially after all this time, all these months, it’s so frustrating. I would’ve 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.”
“It won’t necessarily be you,” Maddow continued. “It’ll be the person you care about most in the world — and how can you bear that?”
“This thing is scary as hell and whatever you’ve been willing to do to risk getting it, don’t.”