DJ Jazzy Jeff Discusses His Experience With COVID-19

Illustration for article titled DJ Jazzy Jeff Discusses His Experience With COVID-19
Photo: Andrew H. Walker (Getty Images)

DJ Jazzy Jeff recently opened up to Tamron Hall about his experience living with COVID-19 and pneumonia.


During the April 15 episode of The Tamron Hall Show, the legendary producer told Hall via video chat that he may have become infected after performing at the Black Summit of the National Brotherhood of Skiers in Ketchum, Idaho in early March. In late March, the legendary DJ wrote on his Instagram page that he may have contracted the virus.

“When my wife and I were at the store, I looked at her and told her I didn’t feel well,” he explained of his initial symptoms. “And she was asking what was wrong, and I said ‘I feel a little achy, like I’m coming down with something.’ I literally went home and got into bed and almost don’t remember the next 11 days after that. Wasn’t eating, couldn’t taste anything, couldn’t smell anything…”

Jeff said he wasn’t tested for COVID-19 when he went to the doctor’s office. Instead, he discovered he had pneumonia in both of his lungs, which he said “terrified him to death.” What transpired was an “extremely rough 10 to 11 days” of pain and discomfort, which was treated with antibiotics.

However, he’s feeling a lot better today, though feeling remorseful for visiting his 91-year-old mother and giving “one or two high-fives” on tour after unknowingly contracting the virus. He details that he read a report about several citizens in Ketchum, Idaho testing positive for COVID-19, and additionally, shortly before his set at the festival, he was touring overseas in Hong Kong and Australia.

“My last two shows were in Hong Kong and Jakarta, Indonesia,” he says of his 2020 tour. “My friend expressed [Wuhan] was 3,000 miles away from Hong Kong, he said everything was fine. Two days later, the [Hong Kong] airport looked very different, everything was in plastic, you had to be tested to get into the airport.”

In another interview on his former musical partner Will Smith’s Snapchat series Will From Home, Jeff discussed the symptoms he experienced as a result of contracting COVID-19.


“I had a temperature that reached 103. I had the chills. I lost sense of smell. I lost sense of taste,” he explained before adding: “Unfortunately, people think we’re at the end [of the pandemic], and I think we’re really at the beginning.”

While we’re still feeling a bit pessimistic ourselves about when the pandemic will end, we’re glad Jeff is on the up-and-up.

Pronounced "Jay-nuh."


Bronx Resident Benjamin White

The only thing that feels worse than the symptoms is knowing that you may have passed it along to somebody else unintentionally.

I’m just glad his grandmother didn't become infected.