Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh on harrowing COVID-19 battle: “Time meant nothing”
We learned last week that not only had Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo contracted COVID-19, but that his recovery had been complicated by living doors away from a notorious TikTok party mansion. Mark has now shared more details about his very scary experience with coronavirus in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. He says he was infected towards the end of May, while working at the studios of his production company, Mutato Muzika. He'd been avoiding going into the studio to work for the most part, but said that he still he came into contact with multiple people he didn't know on an occasion he went in, and the first symptoms began to arrive days later.
"It went from, 'I don’t feel good' on Tuesday to an ambulance to Cedars on Saturday," Mark's wife, Anita Greenspan, said. "It was terrifying."
More from LA Times:
Mothersbaugh spent much of the next 18 days on his back, tilted up in his hospital bed in the intensive care unit. Isolated, like all of those infected with the virus, from everyone except essential medical personal, he lost all track of time and space. Tubes and machines cuffed him in place. At one point, he tried to break free of all the stuff attached to him and they had to secure his arms and legs.
Mark said that he experienced delusions while in the ICU, at one point thinking he had been attacked in Downtown LA and was now recovering. "There’s a bookstore I love there where I get stationery supplies, and in my mind I had been there,” he told LA Times. "I was convinced for about two weeks that I had been hit by a brick by somebody in Little Tokyo."
Another delusion, he told LA Times, involved Devo:
While attached to the ventilator, he said: “I wrote a whole new Devo album and put together a whole live show.” In his hallucination, the band performed it on the streets of Hollywood — through the use of augmented reality. “We were standing on top of these projections, which were growing somehow.”
At one point, Mark describes a pivotal moment when his family contacting him helped keep him in the present. He described, "a time where I just felt exhausted. Like, ‘I could just float down this river right now, and it would be really peaceful. It wouldn’t be a freak-out. It wouldn’t be something I’d be scared of. I could really just do that.’ I really thought about it. And then it just happened that [Greenspan] called me, and she and the kids were on my phone, saying, ‘You’re getting out of there soon. Get off of that machine.’ I don’t know if everybody is lucky enough to have somebody do that for them."
"If you have anyone that you know who’s in ICU with COVID, contact them and keep them in touch with the outside world, because it’s easy to lose track of where you are and why you are," Mark continued. "I had no idea I was on a ventilator for 10 days. Time meant nothing."
He also mentioned the lingering after-effects of the virus, describing "a little thing with my nerves" and an overall "creepy" toll that it had taken on him physically.
"Everything’s become more devolved than I would have imagined possible," Mark said. "For anybody that’s doubting whether the coronavirus and COVID-19 is real, it’s really real."
Read the interview in full on Los Angeles Times.
Before Mark contracted the virus, Devo made amazing-looking face shields based off their iconic "energy dome" helmets.