Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh says he nearly died from coronavirus: “It was terrifying”

The musician was on a ventilator for 10 days and suffered vivid delusions

Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh has shared his experience with coronavirus, saying he nearly died from the disease.

The musician contracted the virus earlier this summer and spent 10 days on a ventilator in hospital in Los Angeles in June.

Mothersbaugh said he initially thought his symptoms were from exhaustion, until his temperature registered at 103ºF. “A nurse came over the next morning and said, ‘You should be in ICU,’” he told the LA Times. “I said, ‘That’s ridiculous.’ She replied that she’d been a nurse for three decades: ‘You need an ambulance right now.’”


He said he went from not feeling very good on a Tuesday to being in an ambulance on the way to hospital on Saturday: “It was terrifying.”

Devo CREDIT: Getty Images

The 70-year-old also suffered vivid delusions while suffering from the illness. “There’s a bookstore I love there where I get stationery supplies and in my mind I had been there,” he said. “I was convinced for about two weeks that I had been hit by a brick by somebody in Little Tokyo.”

He continued: “I felt blood from being hit. 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 payment for delivering Covid patients to their ICUs. I totally believed it.”

Mothersbaugh also said he had written a whole new Devo album and live show while on a ventilator, which, in his head, the band had performed on the streets of Hollywood using augmented reality. “We were standing on top of these projections, which were growing somehow,” he explained.

Speaking of the world’s response to the coronavirus, he said: “Everything’s become more devolved than I would have imagined possible. For anybody that’s doubting whether the coronavirus and Covid-19 is real, it’s really real.”


It was reported last week (August 25) that Mothersbaugh had been one of a number of neighbours to complain about parties held by TikTok stars at the Sway House in Hollywood.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, his wife Anita said: “It makes me crazy, the sheer inconsideration. It goes on all day long. There are people in the pool screaming, they’re blasting music and there are cars parked all down the street.”

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