Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh Recalls ‘Very Dark’ Delusions While On Ventilator For COVID-19

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Mark Mothersbaugh, co-founder of the Devo group, talks about his heartbreaking battle with COVID-19.


© Bryan Bedder, Getty Images pour CBGB
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 12: Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo performs at the 2014 CBGB Music & Film Festival – Times Square Concerts on October 12, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder / Getty Images for CBGB) ORG XMIT: 516196535 ORIG FILE ID: 457136200

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times published on Monday, Mothersbaugh, 70, recalled fighting for his life in intensive care after contracting the coronavirus, which left him on a ventilator and led to delusions .

Mothersbaugh said he believed he caught the virus while working at his commercial music company, Mutato Musikain, in May. When he started to experience symptoms, the musician brushed them aside, thinking he was just overworked. After taking his temperature, however, he was surprised to see that he had a fever of 103.

“A nurse came the next morning and said, ‘You should be in intensive care.’ “Mothersbaugh remembers. I said, ‘This is ridiculous.’ She replied that she had been a nurse for three decades: “You need an ambulance now. ”

The nurse saved his life, Mothersbaugh’s wife Anita Greenspan said, adding that her husband’s health had quickly worsened.

“He went from ‘I’m not feeling well’ Tuesday to an ambulance at Cedars (Sinai Hospital) on Saturday,” she said. “It was terrifying.

While in hospital, Mothersbaugh said he experienced “very dark” delusions. In one, the musician said he believed he was in the hospital because someone hit him on the head with a brick in downtown Los Angeles.

“I could smell blood being touched,” Mothersbaugh said. “I was handcuffed to a downtown parking lot. I had this whole story elaborated on how these kids sold me to an ambulance company who then received some sort of payment for delivering COVID patients to their ICUs. I totally believed it.

In another delusion, Mothersbaugh said he wrote a brand new Devo album and put on a live show that the band performed in augmented reality in Hollywood.

The musician experienced delusions for over two weeks, both on and off the fan. Through it all, Mothersbaugh said her family’s support was crucial, recalling one particular FaceTime call that came “at a time when I was just feeling exhausted.”

“Like, ‘I might just be floating on this river now, and it would be really peaceful. It wouldn’t be a panic. It wouldn’t be something I was afraid of. I could really do that. “. I really thought about it, ”he says. “And then it happened to me that (Greenspan) called me, and she and the kids were on the phone saying, ‘You’re going to be out of this soon. Get off this machine. ‘ I don’t know if everyone is lucky enough to have someone do this for them. ”

Mothersbaugh added that he wanted people to look after their loved ones who are in hospital to fight COVID-19.

“If you have someone you know who is in intensive care 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. are, ”he said. “I had no idea I was on a ventilator for 10 days. Time meant nothing. ”

Now the musician has said he is starting to get back on track.

“Before COVID, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m starting to be around 50 now, and I’m 70,’” he said. “When I was in the hospital, I felt like I was around 90 years old. And now I’m back to 70 and trying to come back to 50. It’s my aim. “

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