At the start of a phone interview this morning to promote his forthcoming solo album, Earth, due April 17, Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien made a startling admission in response to a standard “how are you?” conservation starter.
“Well, I’ve got the virus but I’m getting over it,” he said from his home in the UK.
O’Brien, of course, was referencing coronavirus, though he quickly added that he hasn’t been tested, “because you can’t get tested here, unless you’re elderly.” However, the 51-year-old musician said he has been sick for 10 days with flu-like symptoms, and recently lost his senses of smell and taste.
“I Googled it last night and that’s a classic symptom of the coronavirus,” he said. “So, it’s like, okay, I’ve got it.”
O’Brien recently made a lengthy trip around the world in connection with promotion for Earth, which included stops in New York City, Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Sydney, Australia, and Singapore. He believes he might have contracted the virus during a trip to Paris for a television appearance two weeks ago.
At the moment, O’Brien is self-quarantined away from his family at home in Wales. On the phone, he seemed to be in good spirits.
“For someone like myself, this is just a bad dose of the flu. I’m not in any way in danger,” O’Brien said. “I basically sat outside all day because the weather is glorious. It’s the first sunshine we’ve had this spring. It’s not a bad place to be.”
Stay tuned for Uproxx’s full conversation with O’Brien later this week.
Update: O’Brien has posted on Instagram a letter to fans about his suspicion of being infected with coronavirus, which you can read below. We’re all wishing him a speedy recovery.