The hallucinations experienced by coronavirus patients have been known for some time. But what Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh experienced in a near-fatal bout with COVID-19 might be next level.
Mothersbaugh, co-founder of the flower-pot and hazmat-suit wearing new wave band that reached its peak in the 1980s with songs such as “Whip It,” revealed his mind-bending virus ordeal on social media Monday.
“For anybody that’s doubting whether the coronavirus and COVID-19 is real, it’s really real,” he wrote on Instagram. “It went from, ‘I don’t feel good’ on Tuesday to an ambulance to Cedars on Saturday. It was terrifying.”
Mothersbaugh, 70, linked to his interview with The Los Angeles Times about his intensive-care stay as he fought for his life in June.
“Some of the delusions were very dark,” Mothersbaugh said. “Like, ‘Oh no, I have to get out of this place.’”
Hooked up to a ventilator, Mothersbaugh said he was convinced he had been beaten, kidnapped and sold to the hospital.
“I felt blood from being hit,” he told the newspaper. “I was handcuffed to a parking deck downtown. I had this whole elaborate story of how these kids sold me to an ambulance company that then got some sort of a payment for delivering COVID patients to their ICUs. I totally believed it,” he said.
He repeatedly asked his wife, Anita Greenspan, and teen daughters if police had caught the attackers.
He also had visions that he had written a new Devo album and staged a live show on the streets of Hollywood.
“We were standing on top of these projections, which were growing somehow,” he said.
Mothersbaugh, also a film and TV composer, spent 18 days in the ICU. He credited a phone-call plea from his family with jolting him back to reality as he dreamed of surrendering on a peaceful river.
“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,” he said. “I had no idea I was on a ventilator for 10 days. Time meant nothing.”
Mothersbaugh is now recovering at his home in the Hollywood hills.
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