Now, the vocalist says he is still suffering from various health problems as a result of the virus.
Tool were out on the road at the start of March when coronavirus lockdown began. However, Keenan tells AZ Central that he actually contracted coronavirus in February. He shared the news after being asked how he handled the derailment of his schedule when lockdown began.
“Well, I’m not a delicate flower,” he says. “You make the adjustment. ‘OK, well, we can’t do that. So what are we gonna do? Are we just gonna take this opportunity to unplug and kind of step back and reevaluate everything?’ It was good. I mean, I was still recovering from having gotten COVID at the end of February. I’m still dealing with the residual effects. But it was ugly. I survived it, but it wasn’t pretty. So I definitely had to deal with that.”
Keenan also addresses anti-maskers and conspiracy theorists, saying that coronavirus is, in fact, real. After recovering from the virus earlier this year, he still has health problems as a result.
“It’s real,” he said. “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.”
Despite contracting coronavirus back in February, the Tool frontman shares that he is still battling the virus’ residual side effects every day.
“I still have the cough,” he continues. “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. So that’s what I got. That was my prize.”
Keenan also takes the opportunity to talk about the importance of face masks. He says that wearing masks shouldn’t be a political stance since it is helping to protect hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
“Yeah, that’s ridiculous,” he says. “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. 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.
Freedom is the ability to pursue your lifestyle, pursue what you want to do for your family, for your future, what education you want to get,” he says. “And with that freedom comes a responsibility to look out for yourself, for your neighbor, for your family, for everybody. So there are some compromises that come along with freedom. I’m not sure why that’s so difficult to grasp.”
The past few years have been busy for Keenan. Prior to their tour earlier this year, Tool released Fear Incoculum, their first album in 13 years, back in 2019. As well, supergroup Puscifer are putting out their first album in five years Existential Reckoning on Oct. 30.
Maynard James Keenan’s full interview with AZ Central is available to read here.
What are your thoughts on Keenan’s comments on COVID-19 and the meaning of freedom? Let us know in the comments below.