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DJ Jazzy Jeff made a Tuesday appearance on the Tamron Hall show, during which he opened up about experiencing suspected symptoms of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
The musician said that he believes he came down with the virus after performing at the annual Black Summit of the National Brotherhood of Skiers in Katchum, Idaho, in March. (After the event, more than 100 attendees reportedly contracted COVID-19.)
“I didn’t even realize the severity of it,” Jeff told Hall via video chat. “When my wife and I were at the store, I looked at her and told her I didn’t feel well. And she was asking what was wrong, and I said, ‘I feel a little achy, like I’m coming down with something.’ I literally went home and got into bed and almost don’t remember the next 11 days after that.”
The DJ added that he “wasn’t eating, couldn’t taste anything” and “couldn’t smell anything.” Despite his inclination that he had COVID-19, he wasn’t able to get tested. “When we finally were able to go to the doctor, they wouldn’t test me for COVID-19,” he recounted. “They gave me a flu test and then gave me an X-ray on my lungs and said I had pneumonia in both of my lungs, which terrified me to death.”
Jeff went on to say that his doctor gave him “very heavy antibiotics” to help him recover, though he noted that the next several days “were extremely rough before I really started to kind of come out of it.” He assured Hall that his health is finally back on track, saying, “I’m blessed to say that I’m feeling great right now.”
Now, he is urging people to stay home to halt the spread of the virus. “I had a friend send me a picture of a basketball court and it was easily 100 people out there, and it literally brought tears to my eyes,” he said. “And I felt that it’s very important to make people understand how dangerous this is. You don’t realize that you’re getting something and taking it back to your grandmother.”
Following his recovery, Jeff is encouraging people to self-isolate by holding virtual DJ sets via Instagram Live. “So, I’m just kind of like, listen, if I can play some music and make people dance in their kitchen and not go outside, then that’s what I need to do,” he said.
Jeff elaborated on his symptoms while speaking with Will Smith for the actor’s new stay-at-home Snapchat series, Will From Home. “I had a temperature that reached 103. I had the chills. I lost sense of smell. I lost sense of taste,” he said. “Unfortunately, people think we’re at the end [of the pandemic], and I think we’re really at the beginning.”
Watch Jeff’s appearances below.
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