Back at the start of COVID, the world was locked down for months. It looked like there was no end in sight. But once the vaccine hit, we cautiously emerged from our toilet paper and sourdough starter-filled homes and saw the streets once again. However, one person didn’t join us in our great return to Applebee’s: Oprah Winfrey! She recently revealed that she locked herself indoors for almost a year. That’s right, coronavirus made the world’s greatest talk show host into the world’s greatest hermit.
When Oprah realized how serious COVID-19 is, she said “fuck that noise” and trapped herself inside. Oprah owns several estates across the country so we don’t know if she’s talking about her Montecito estate (which is called Promise Land) or her Telleruide estate or her Maui estate. But still, for Oprah, those 322 days during the pandemic were like Panic Room but with a massive estate that features an Olympic-sized pool, a movie theater, and 33 bathrooms (probably). Oprah recently spoke to the Los Angeles Times to promote her new documentary, The Color of Care, which is about racial inequality in healthcare, and she discussed her COVID isolation experience. According to Insider:
Oprah Winfrey opened up about her experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, including a 322-day period where she never left her house.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times’ Marissa Evans published on Friday, Winfrey, 68, said she was cautious during the pandemic after hearing from friends and others who had lost loved ones to COVID-19.
“My empathy and understanding of what that must be like to go through that is how I have been relating. I’ve been so careful with myself that my own friends make fun of me,” she told the outlet. “I didn’t leave home for 322 days — literally did not leave the house. So it has not been for me personally a heavy burden to bear.”
That’s admirable. Rather than spread misinformation for fun or throw tantrums over pieces of cloth, THIS famous person hid away for a year. I know a few celebrities who we could use a year-long holiday from… While staying away from an Arby’s for 322 days can wear down the strongest of us, Oprah is no mere mortal. She took to her self-imposed exile like a duck to water.
Winfrey said the experience started to wear on her in the latter part of 2021. Still, she said she was surprised by how well she adapted to the isolation of the pandemic and was able to make time for herself.
“I remember one point [Gayle King] said, “Don’t you just miss being around other people?” I go, “Eh, not really.” And I think it’s because every day, I was in an audience of 350 people twice a day, so I’ve had shaking hands and autographs and selfies, and lots of attention, and exposure to being around a lot of people,” Winfrey continued. “I was able to be with myself in a way that I haven’t been able to for years, because usually, even if I take time off for myself, I’m thinking about what is the next thing to come.”
Using the pandemic get away from people and stay at home in your sweatpants? Celebrities, they’re just like us! I wonder if Gayle King had access to her bestie during this time. Their wine o’clock Zooms must have been extra fun. But I don’t know about poor Stedman Graham. He was probably kept in the guesthouse the whole time. Can’t take any chances with him!