Rachel Maddow Shares How Partner's COVID Battle Changed Her

by Madison Vanderberg
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/Youtube

Rachel Maddow gives an update on her partner’s COVID-19 battle

Last month, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow went on air and gave a moving and heartbreaking update that her partner of 21 years, Susan Mikula was sick with COVID-19 and was in such a dire situation that Maddow thought “it might kill her.”

Now that Mikula has survived the worst of the virus, Maddow gave us an update on her health and shared that this COVID-19 scare has fundamentally changed the way that Maddow looks at the pandemic.

Maddow admitted that while she wasn’t necessarily “scared” about getting COVID-19 herself, seeing her partner struggle, worrying she may not make it, and then knowing that perhaps it may have been her fault that she brought the virus home and gave it to the person she loves — Maddow says that realization is what she’s now trying to hammer home to her viewers when she covers the pandemic. The idea that you may not worry about getting sick yourself, but you don’t know how bad it truly is until you see the person you love suffer.

“The reaction to me talking about this on the air, to me saying, ‘Listen, I take this as seriously as anybody, but I just realized that I wasn’t that scared about getting it myself, but seeing Susan suffering with it is the scariest thing in my life, and I would now do anything to prevent that sort of risk to her.’ Maddow told Stephen Colbert on The Late Show. “The way people responded to that made me sort of realize that I think we need to pay closer attention to what motivates people and their behavior around risk.”

“People take risks for a reason,” Maddow continued. “It’s human nature. It doesn’t make you a bad person, but for me it was revelatory to realize I care a lot more about my partner and her safety than I do about myself. I realize that was the motivational trip for me, and it made me realize we’ve got to think about what moves people more than we have been…”

Mikula, like a lot of people who have overcome COVID-19, are now being called “long haulers” as they deal with lingering symptoms of the virus.

“She is OK,” Maddow says of her partner’s current health status. “She had a real case of it, and like a lot of people who’ve had symptomatic cases, she’s got the long tail of the symptoms, which is true for almost everybody that I know that had it. She’s got the fatigue and the headaches and the cough and stuff lingering, but she’s out of the woods in terms of us being scared that she could take a downturn. She’s going to be fine.”

It’s true we’re well past the point of pandemic fatigue, but please listen to Rachel Maddow and try not to look at the virus from your own POV, but from that of those you love most.