The Rock opens up about his battle with coronavirus: ‘You never know’

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COVID-19 doesn’t care if we’re rich, poor, good-looking, tall, short, Republican or Democrat – if it can reach you, it will. The latest celebrity to confirm this is Dwayne The Rock Johnson, who posted ad 11-minute video to Instagram on Wednesday letting his fans know that he, his wife Lauren and his two youngest girls, Jasmine and Tiana, all tested positive for COVID-19. While Jasmine and Tiana only suffered from mild symptoms, DJ and Lauren apparently had a rough go of it. Thankfully, everyone has come out the other side after several weeks of suffering. Because they were fortunate enough to overcome COVID, DJ is warning people about the dangers of contracting the virus and what precautions he think we should take to avoid his fate. I’ve posted his whole video below but the part I wanted to highlight is when he explained that they contracted the virus by having trusted friends over.

Here’s how we got COVID-19: We picked up COVID-19 from very close family friends. And these are people who we love and trust, people who we still love and trust. And they are devastated, by the way, that they were the ones who picked it up, they have no idea where they picked it up. They are devastated that it led to infecting our family. Luckily we were able to control it, mitigate it, and it didn’t spread out of control. But they, like us, have been incredibly disciplined.

You guys know me. I’m a pretty nice guy, I work hard, I like to have a good time, but I am also incredibly disciplined, I am extremely disciplined when it comes to health, when it comes to best practices, when it comes to safety measured for my family, my loved ones and my friends and people who I care about. I’m very, very disciplined. And I applied that discipline – we were on lockdown since March, with all of you guys as well, we have been disciplined, we’ve quarantined, we’ve isolated, I have not worked and I feel like we’ve done a pretty good job of protecting our family. But, like a lot of you guys out there, having your friends over, having your family members over, your loved ones – of course you want that, because you want that connection and you want to be with the people who you love and who you care about and who you have a good time with.

My takeaway here isn’t necessarily keep them away, I’m not saying that. But, what I am saying is: now apply an even greater discipline to having people over to your house. So now, what we’re going to do – and believe me, I was disciplined and strict and stringent before, but now this household, there’s going to be new rules that I’m implementing. And I pass this on to you guys – if you guys are having family and friends over to your house, you know them you trust them, they’ve been quarantining just like you guys, you still never know. You never know. So, take an even aggressive measure, have them tested, get everybody tested before they come over. Have them tested the day before and if they test positive, you stay away. If you don’t, then come over.

[From Instagram via Pajiba]

We all have friends who have had friends or even acquaintances over and justified it in every way possible. And I am willing to bet those justifications sounded a lot like what DJ described above. We are all doing what we consider to be the absolutely most to protect ourselves and our families but, like DJ said, we just never know if it’s enough. My kids are so desperate to see their friends, it breaks my heart. We, too, caved and allowed one to visit, implementing six feet distance in the house, wearing masks at all times except when we ate dinner, which we ate outside, with the friend at the far end of the table. And we know and love this girl, but the minute she left, we regretted our decision. It freaked us out too much. Fortunately, none of us have come down with anything since that visit but – you never know. If any of us had gotten sick, I would have never forgiven myself. I’m not judging anyone. I’m sure everyone here has truly done everything they were supposed to. DJ’s message is a very good wake up call because as he mentioned several times, if we consider anyone to be disciplined, it’s him. And yet, he still wasn’t disciplined enough. Many of us cut a corner or two for our own pleasure during quarantine. After watching this, I’m asking myself if it was worth it.

DJ’s caption covered all his ‘takeaways’ from the video:

My message to all of you around the 🌎

Stay disciplined.
Boost your immune system.
Commit to wellness.
Wear your mask.
Protect your family.
Be strict about having people over your house or gatherings.
Stay positive.
And care for your fellow human beings.

Stay healthy, my friends.

DJ 🖤

He talks a lot about wearing a mask and how he understands those with COPD have trouble with masks, but his mom has COPD after stage three lung cancer took half her lung and she wears one every day. My mother gets claustrophobic in masks and when it’s too much for her, she stays home because she will not venture outside the house without one on. I recommend you watch the full video. He talks a lot and says the same thing several time but it’s to drive the point home. Solitude sucks, everything sucks – but getting COVID will suck more. And hearing your babies – regardless of their ages – have tested positive for it is a bell that will never be unwrung in your ears.

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Photo credit: Instagram

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49 Responses to “The Rock opens up about his battle with coronavirus: ‘You never know’”

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  1. Annabel says:

    I really appreciate his statement and hope it encourages more people to take social distancing seriously. One of the hardest things about the pandemic is being gaslit by my in-laws (“But why CAN’T you spend time indoors with us? What’s wrong with being indoors? We’re all being careful!”)

    Our approach has been to only see our friends outside. The only people who’ve been in our house since March are the one other family in our quarantine bubble and the nanny who works for both of us. It’s going to be harder to see friends in cold weather, but that’s a gear problem, not a weather problem. My kid’s been having masked play dates in the local park, and I plan on bundling her up and continuing that through the winter.

  2. Snowslow says:

    My roof is leaking and I just got a specialist coming in saying “he doesn’t believe in Covid” and therefore doesn’t wear a mask.
    I was so taken aback that I had not reaction.
    I had asked – granted in the passive-agressive British way that has become my own after years liking in the UK – do you want me to wear a mask?
    Meaning put a motorf*cking mask on you dumb wit. He didn’t get the nuance.

    • Esmom says:

      Wow, so sorry this happened to you. I can’t believe he wouldn’t wear a mask. We have had a number of house issues through this and every single professional who has had to come in has worn a mask and been extremely conscientious. Seems like your roof guy doesn’t care if he loses business. Dumb wit indeed.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Post about his refusal to wear a mask, and how you felt pressured by him, on every review site you can find. Warn others about his behavior and hit him hard in the pocketbook. Hire the good ones, like Esmom writes above, who are wearing masks and being conscientious.

      • lucy2 says:

        I agree. If he works for a company, I would contact them first, let them know what happened, and give them a chance to deal with it. If they don’t, or he is the sole owner, I think it’s fair to post about it. This man is going into homes every single day, and could be spreading it all over town. A virus doesn’t care whether he believes or not.

    • Trashaddict says:

      Cancel the contract – find another contractor. Your life is not worth trying not to offend that person.

  3. FHMom says:

    It is so hard to turn people away, especially when it involves kids’ friends. We have been following all of the rules, but you just never know who hasn’t been. My sister, who wouldn’t come near my family for months, invited her best friend and her son to her vacation home for a week. Afterwards, she was completely freaked out because the friend, who is a pharmacist and very intelligent person, told her she had just attended a backyard party with 5 other families. She didnt tell my sister this until she was staying over. Luckily, nobody got sick, but this quarantine is making smart people do stupid things.

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s the problem, finding out when it’s too late. I live alone but after a month or 2 expanded to my immediate family. At one family gathering, my sibling and their spouse mentioned that they’d had another couple over a few days before. All of that quarantining could have gone out the window, because who knows what their friends had been doing.

    • Tourmaline says:

      Re the “backyard party” yep it’s a big misconception that you can’t catch it outside socializing.

      Outdoors is better than indoors due to better ventilation and space to distance.
      BUT If people are getting up close to people outdoors and chatting face to face and posing for pictures with arms around each other they better wear a mask —-because the virus doesn’t magically stop spraying out of people’s noses and mouths outdoors!

    • Turtledove says:

      My sister in law wanted my daughter to come stay over for a weekend. She mentioned how cautious they were being.But then my husband talked to her husband, and their idea of cautious is NOT in line with ours. So, no sleepover. Just glad I found out BEFORE my kid went.

  4. SusieQ says:

    I posted on a different thread yesterday, but I’m currently living the Covid nightmare, and the Rock is absolutely right. It’s wicked and unpredictable. My mom and I were exposed at work (in a hospital). I gave it to my boyfriend before I knew I had been exposed. My work has a mini-outbreak, and my mom is in ICU with pneumonia. She’s on high-flow oxygen, and I have no clue when she will be released.

    I haven’t been able to taste or smell anything in days, and the exhaustion is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. My boyfriend has nasty coughing fits and is unable to taste or smell either.

    And the kicker is that we had not been anywhere since this started, except for some socially distanced hikes in the woods. We all wear masks in a small town where no one does. And all we did was to go to work, and we got sick. I fear there will be so many more cases like this before this is all over.

    • EM says:

      Oh no I hope you’re all feeling better soon! This is so scary to read. It sounds like it is from work so hopefully they’ll have better practices (not that you can eliminate it completely)

      I’ve been really good, only out 3x since March and each time for a doctor’s appointment. Had my full physical w/ scans 3 days ago and am freaking out that perhaps I was exposed. Too many people seen, within close distance, even with masks.

      • SusieQ says:

        The frustrating thing is that I actually work in a hospital, and people are still holding meetings in cramped conference rooms. They sit right next to each other and assume they are safe because they have masks on.

    • MaryContrary says:

      I’m so sorry Susie! I hope your mom has a speedy recovery.

  5. Betsy says:

    Am I the only one who has almost nightly bad dreams that I’ve gone somewhere unmasked? I wake up, mad at myself for not masking and raising my risks. We’ve been going to my parents’ house and sitting, all masked up, and playing outside as much as possible and eating outside, too, but yes, it’s beginning to feel too much. Too risky.

    GOP voters make me sick. That anyone would vote to continue the make believe, science free approach that we’ve been working under is appalling (and that’s not counting the treason, the despicable attitude towards those who have served our country, the corruption, the cruelty toward brown people but especially the children, the racism, the sexism…).

    • Heylee says:

      Betsy! I too have been having bad dreams where I am out at a big gathering in the middle of people, and then I all of a sudden realize I’m not in a mask. It’s terrifying.

      10 years ago when I was 30 and probably at my healthiest, I contracted h1n1 that evolved into pneumonia. I was hospitalized and almost died.

      So I’ve been so strict from day one. I’m driving my husband crazy. He really wants to have one family over that’s being “more careful than us” which I side eye. But I said no and it’s a big thing now. I just can’t have people over knowing everything I do. And it’s 110 in Phoenix so outdoor hanging is just not possible for us.

      I’m not going to give in to pressure from my husband. But can you imagine how many similar scenarios are being played out right now? I feel for everyone.

    • ME says:

      I keep having dreams about masks too ! God, you want an escape when dreaming, but nope !

      • Regina Falangie says:

        I’ve been having those dreams too!!! It’s awful!!! I’m somewhere, surrounded by people, and I realize I don’t have a mask and my children are there without masks, and I panic and I get SO mad at myself and I’m filled with despair and hopelessness. I wake up crying. It’s awful. I’ve had at least one a month since March.

      • ME says:

        OMG yes ! I’ve had similar dreams where I am at a grocery store or somewhere in public and then realize I’m not wearing a mask and then I panic and get upset with myself. Then I wake up and realize it’s just a dream…but then I realize the nightmare that is the real world. There is no escape.

    • Elsa says:

      My most frequent dream!

    • Trashaddict says:

      No dreams but on days when I’ve not had enough sleep I walk out the door, do the mental checklist, then get outside and immediately feel vulnerable (and ashamed) because I forgot it. Back inside I go to get the mask!

  6. Noodle says:

    There was a story in the news yesterday that 30% of Big Ten (college athletic conference of large, public universities) athletes who have/had COVID now have myocarditis. COVID on its own is devastating and awful, but add to that the long-term effects on people’s health, and it’s absolutely terrifying. While COVID kills mostly people with pre-existing conditions, health officials are finding that it is also CREATING life threatening conditions in young, healthy people. You can be asymptomatic and still walk away with permanent lung and heart damage. The impact this is going to have on our families and communities long after COVID is eradicated is scary.

    Here is a link to the story from yesterday, in case anyone wants to read: https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2020-09-03/one-third-of-coronavirus-positive-big-ten-athletes-diagnosed-with-myocarditis

  7. MaryContrary says:

    I feel so isolated in my family taking this so seriously. I can not believe how many of my friends (who claim to understand science, and wear masks when they go out) are socializing. They go on vacations with other families, go to dinner at each other’s houses, let their kids have “bubbles” of 6-8 other kids (that is NOT a bubble). It’s just bizarre to me. We have had one family over and sat in our driveway distanced, I’ve had one friend over to sit in my backyard, distanced, and gone on walks with friends. It sucks that my kids/teens aren’t able to do “normal” age appropriate activities with their friends-but better that than getting covid.

    • Tourmaline says:

      It’s so frustrating. People act like they can’t catch it from their friends or family. In fact that is exactly who you are most likely to catch it from, due to the close contact and duration of contact! See the Rock —- caught it from “very close family friends”.

      Way less likely to get it from a stranger you briefly pass in a store.

  8. Lunasf17 says:

    As an American I feel like there is no end is sight. Other countries are going back to normal and moving forward and we can’t get it together enough to make progress. I’m so frustrated, my husband and I have been in lockdown with our one year old since March with a few exceptions (my mom stayed with us when we needed help, friends that tested negative and were camping stayed a couple nights). Not perfect but we are careful. Meanwhile my relatives in TX are going on multiple vacations around the country, parties, kids sports events, apparently some schools in north TX are back to in person, no masks and all sports are on. Some days I feel like giving up because why are we quarantined while everyone else is living their best life?’ This sucks so bad!

    • Mel M says:

      Same. I’m exhausted and my anxiety is out of control from being quarantined with my kids since March and my family is going about like it’s a normal summer. They act like we are the delusional people for taking it serious. I guarantee some of them don’t even own a mask. I’m just so mentally exhausted about all of it.

  9. Sparky says:

    I like the Rock but his wealth and privilege is showing. He recommends we ask all of our guests to get coronavirus tests a day before our dinner parties? Is this a joke?

    For those of us fortunate to still have health insurance, they can ask for a test. And your doctor may not grant you a test without symptoms or exposure to a sick person. But the free tests in my County take a week to get results. Im sure he has concierge health care and white glove service and access to rapid testing. The rest of us have to fight to get a test and when we do- we often face ridiculous long waits to get our results. He Means well but the average american’s access to testing is nothing like his. the wealthy really live on an alternate universe in this country. This is such bullshit.

    • Pippi says:

      I suspect some ignorance is at play here. I am sure he does have access to efficient testing, and despite his troubles in the past, it can be hard to remember your experience may not be the norm. I am wondering if he endorses a vitamin supplement company or is intending to, because of the long spiel on ‘boosting’ your immunity. Which is not how immune systems work, but so many people I know who work out a lot can’t be convinced otherwise. What struck me was the unfairness to those with compromised immune systems who are told that a multi-vitamin is what they need. I’ve heard this said, it’s terrible.

      • WhiskeyGirl says:

        If he’s in CA and specifically in LA County, we are offered free testing, you just fill out a form and register get an appointment window (depending on where you pick). We are lucky and most places get the results back next day. I did this with my kid and myself several months ago and probably will do it again soon.

  10. Karina says:

    Ok, so you have to think of your mental health too and consider the facts not just fear. Having a few people over for a backyard get together with masks and reasonable precautions (each side can bring their own food for example or share something safe to share like pizza) is safe. It also makes my kids and husband happy. Not saying be dumb about it, but sheesh … it is safer than going to the grocery store or the doctor.

    • Annabel says:

      Oh, definitely. I socialize with friends. We just do it outdoors, with masks on, at a serious distance. (I find I can still hear my friends pretty well when we’re sitting ten feet apart or so.) There have absolutely been outbreaks that started with outdoor gatherings, but from what I can tell—someone please correct me if I’m wrong!—those are situations where unmasked people were talking in each others’ faces, i.e. crowded barbecues and parties and such.

  11. Kristic says:

    Just here to second a comment about getting tested before seeing people. I would love to get tested. I live in Seattle and have health insurance but haven’t been tested. Granted, I haven’t had symptoms but it seems like frequent testing would mean more people could return to a life that resembles normalcy. So mad at this president for the sh$t show we’re living in.

  12. Annie says:

    I may be raw right now but my 13 year old is suicidal. Desperately suicidal. She was having some awkwardness, normal stuff, before covid but since March she has been mostly alone bc my sister and BIL are doctors who work. She has spent too much time alone and just gotten more and more lonely. She attempted a month ago and since then it has escalated with hospital stays and more attempts. We are doing everything we can and just desperate. I read this article and i think it’s important to remember the other side. Kids need other children, not screens. Kids need the real world. If we could go back knowing what i know now, my sister would never have so strictly questioned her daughter. I understand not everyone is this vulnerable, but many children are. Everything has side effects and shutting down life has this kind of collateral damage. My niece might be safe from covid but she is very much not safe. We are fighting for her life.

    • meepy says:

      so sorry Annie. I hope it all works out. Sending hugs <3

    • Tez says:

      Annie I am so sorry to hear about your niece and I agree – our health extends far beyond simply physical health our mental health matters. I hope your niece is able to get the support she needs.

    • AuntGigi says:

      Thank you for sharing with us, Annie. This just made me weep; I pray for yr niece’s safety, and take solace in the fact that she has family that IS fighting for her. A friend sent me a statistic this morning: 25% of respondents btwn the ages of 18-35 contemplated suicide in June. I am sure that is underreported and, of course, it leaves off the younger and older demographics who are suffering so deeply. My 5 year old nephew developed such acute anxiety from the moment they shut down schools here in NYC. Yesterday, while talking about how old he would have to be to drive a car, he asked, “will there still be a pandemic when I’m sixteen?” I don’t want to offend anyone, and I hate hate how every aspect of this experience is so politicized. But I absolutely agree … the virus itself is not the only thing to be concerned about. And isolation itself is the least healthy thing for humans—mentally, emotionally, spiritually AND physically (immunity is not possible in isolation!). Sending love.

  13. meepy says:

    Maybe an unpopular opinion, but I don’t know if I agree with what he is staying. Being so strict to the point where you are trying to entirely stop the spread of the virus and eradicate it in that way would only work if every human in the world was totally shut off from everyone else for ~3 weeks. Otherwise, what the strategy he is advocating is just prolonging it, because it won’t go away, it will just take longer to go away. If you have a family member who is susceptible to severe covid, totally different story of course.
    Unless the mindset he is espousing is to completely isolate until a vaccine comes out? But that seems insane? Please don’t attack, I’m genuinely trying to understand and would appreciate hearing other opinions<3

    • ME says:

      The thing is no one knows how their body with react to the virus. Healthy children have died from it, yet some 90 year olds have survived. Why take the risk and gamble with your life? There is a whole study being done on “Covid long haulers”. These are people who caught the virus early and have been suffering with very strange health effects ever since. This virus can do permanent damage. Everyone should take it seriously. Big deal if you don’t have a birthday party this year. Big deal if you don’t socialize with your friends this year. This virus will get under control and we will get back to normal life at some point. People need to be patient and continue with social distancing, mask wearing, and avoiding close contact with people as much as possible.

      • Tourmaline says:

        Amen.
        Even in some infected persons who were young, healthy, and had no symptoms or mild symptoms, long term health effects are being documented. There may be a wave of long term disability impacts from this pandemic that will be a further economic and human disaster.

        Saw a study today that described what the virus does to heart cells in a petri dish as “carnage”.

        There is a wide range of serious impacts of infection with this virus that fall short of death. It’s hubris to minimize this brand new virus or think that so long as one isn’t in a high risk group that it is a trivial concern.

      • meepy says:

        So then is the strategy being championed to keep up quarantine until the vaccine? Because that might not be for more than a year!

      • Tourmaline says:

        @meepy. Who is quarantined? I don’t know about you but I am in the US and people are out and about and certainly not in lockdown. There is a middle ground between lockdown and letting the virus run wild. It means taking common sense precautions and modifying activities and behaviors to reduce contact with other people’s respiratory droplets. It’s simple but so many can’t be bothered.

    • Kkat says:

      This is not a flu to catch and get over with.
      it is among other things a vascular disease that is causing clotty blood in all ages, we are getting people aged 5-60 who would otherwise not have these issues needing emergency procedures because they are getting big and micro clots clogging their veins and organs.

      We are seeing permanent damage to kidneys, lungs and hearts , brains and Death because of this clotting.
      My Interventional Radiation surgical team yesterday worked on a 17 year old, a 19, a 27 and a 38 year old with clotting damage due to covid. One had the kidneys so bad they had to be prepped also for dialysis , which will probably be for the rest of their life (that was the 17 year old)
      We are seeing a 60% increase in patients. What they have in common is they had covid and now have various damage from that including strokes.

      These ARE NOT patients that had to be hospitalized with covid when they had it, this is one to two months after the majority had a mild or asymptomatic case of it.

      The other day we had a 5 year old who had had a stroke due to clots from covid

      • Trashaddict says:

        God Bless the IR folks, Kkat, I know the ones in my hospital are miracle workers. That aside, I do NOT want you all getting more business, it is heart-breaking.
        Listen to science. Apply reasonable precautions. Remember that there have been pandemics before, but the human race has gotten through them. DO NO HARM to your fellow humans. One of every 300 people in my state who get this disease, DIE. For the ones who don’t die, if they have been on vents they come out very debilitated with a long recovery road ahead and many with permanently damaged hearts, lungs and kidneys. Even if they aren’t hospitalized, they suffer lost wages or caring for sick families, or, if they live alone, have NO ONE to care for them. How many skeptics have to be struck down with this disease before people apply common sense? Not to do so is selfish and immature.

  14. Vava says:

    We haven’t been to a restaurant since the end of February. No one has come to our house. We talk to our neighbors outside at distance. Any time we go grocery shopping we mask up, disinfect everything when we get home. Honestly just can’t afford to take a risk here. I know people who do, but we give them a wide berth.

  15. Jill says:

    My kids each get to meet with their best friend every 2 weeks. They’re outdoors most of the time, wearing masks as much as we can enforce (13 and 16 yr olds with ADHD). My youngest is the most extremely extroverted person I’ve ever known. He was shriveling with zero contact. His mental health was taking a serious hit. After talking it through with the other boy’s parents, we decided to let them get together. Otherwise they’re home, online, or on the phone. It’s a risk and we know it, but we were also dealing with the imminent risk of a serious mental health crisis.

    • Trashaddict says:

      I think you are thinking this thing through carefully, applying as much mitigation as you can, and since both families agree, it’s not perfect but at least you are applying some rational thought to the situation and presumably staying away from others. Which is more than anti-maskers can say.

  16. Rose says:

    I live in OK, where everyone thinks it’s a liberal hoax. Schools opened up because parents went to board meetings saying straight up that they were sick of dealing with their kids all the time and wanted a break. Now we have parents refusing to test their kids or anyone in their families to keep the numbers of confirmed cases down—if it’s too high the school closes. Parents told me they don’t care if I die, their child must be in school so they can have socialization. It’s insane.

  17. A Deer says:

    There’s something about him that doesn’t sit well with me. I just can’t put my finger on it. He’s one of those celebs everyone assumes is “woke” and then shows his ass in some way or another.

    Glad he isn’t a COVID-19 denier, though.

  18. Karina says:

    KKAT that is very interesting info. I have a friend on the science desk for the NYT and I passed it to him. What hospital, just so I have this straight?