Oprah Winfrey isn’t taking any chances when it comes to the coronavirus. She has her longtime partner Stedman Graham quarantining in a separate guest house just to be careful.
Winfrey told her own O magazine that Graham, 69, was “late to the party” when it came to taking social distancing seriously.
“Stedman did not arrive from Chicago until Thursday, he had been speaking in St. Louis…he’d been on planes,” the 66-year-old talk show host said. “Stedman is like ‘What’s the procedure for coming home?’ ‘The procedure is…you ain’t coming and sleeping in my bed!’”
“‘I don’t see what everybody’s getting so upset about!’ That’s what Stedman was saying…and that’s why Stedman’s at the guest house,” she continued.
Winfrey says she had a bout of pneumonia last year and had just finished taking antibiotics for a bronchial infection last week. Underlying health conditions are associated with worse outcomes for those who contract the coronavirus.
Though, Oprah isn’t at her Santa Barbara, California home alone. She’s with her dogs, as well as two graduates from her school in South Africa, the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. The trio is providing food for Graham from a safe distance, and Oprah is keeping up daily chats with her partner through a window. Stedman, apparently, is more than happy to keep his distance and keep the rest of the household safe.
Undoubtedly, Winfrey’s palatial California home is not a bad place to hole up in for a few weeks (nor is its guest home). But Winfrey’s decision underlines a hard truth about what we know of the coronavirus: you’re more likely to get it from someone you know and are in close contact or sharing quarters with, than you are someone you accidentally come within 5 feet and 11 inches of while passing them on the street. Choosing not to see family, friends and other loved ones may be one of the hardest parts of social isolation, but it is essential. For those who have been taking Oprah’s advice and following her example for years, don’t stop now.