Ozzy Osbourne on COVID-19: “If I get this virus, I’m fucked”

The rock legend has emphysema

Ozzy Osbourne has said that catching the coronavirus would be risky for him because his respiratory health is weak.

The rock legend, who has been recovering from accidents and several bouts of illness over the past few years, said in a new interview that having emphysema puts him in a demographic that appears to be particularly vulnerable to the disease.

He told GQ: “I’ve got emphysema, so if I get this virus, I’m fucked.” Emphysema is a type of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) that involves damage to the walls of the air sacs of the lung, and the coronavirus attacks the respiratory system.


Asked how his health is more generally at the moment, Osbourne responded: “The surgery I had knocked the crap out of me. But I broke my neck in a quad bike accident [in 2003] and when that healed it squeezed my spinal column, so I was getting all kinds of weird things happening to me. I’d be on stage and I’d suddenly get a sharp shock down one side of my body.

Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy Osbourne. CREDIT: Sergei BobylevTASS via Getty Images

“Then one night 18 months ago I went to the bathroom in the dark and just hit the ground. I said [to my wife], ‘Sharon, I’m on the floor,’ and she said, ‘Well, get up then!’ But I couldn’t.

He added that being older does not help things. “Once you’re 70, the floodgates open and everything goes downhill. Mind you, I’ve got away with it for a long time.”

To protect himself during the pandemic, the rock star said he is trying his “hardest” to stay shielded. “If I go out, I wear a mask, but I don’t like wearing a mask, so I don’t go out much,” he said.

“The producer on my album [Andrew Watt] got the virus. I’d phone him up every day and he said he couldn’t sleep, because as soon as he went to sleep, he’d stop breathing. He’s not the same person now…It’s like anyone who’s had a near-death experience: he’s become a bit careful with life. But my two granddaughters caught it and you wouldn’t think they had anything wrong with them. It just bounced off them.”


Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath
Ozzy Osbourne CREDIT: Getty Images

In other news, last month Osbourne announced details of the newly rescheduled UK and European live dates of his ‘No More Tours 2’ tour.

The gigs in question, which were originally announced back in September 2018, have already been postponed a number of times due to Osbourne’s ill health and, more recently, the COVID-19 crisis.

After his wife Sharon confirmed in October that the live dates — which had most recently been pencilled in for that same month — would be moving to 2022, Osbourne himself has announced that the UK and European legs of the ‘No More Tours 2’ tour will now kick off in January 2022.

Osbourne released his latest solo album, ‘Ordinary Man’, in February. Read NME‘s five-star review here.

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