- Oprah Winfrey told the LA Times she didn’t leave her house for 322 days during the pandemic.
- In an interview promoting her new documentary, Winfrey said she adjusted to isolation well.
- The talk show host said the pandemic allowed her to “be with myself” for the first time in years.
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.
The famed talk show host is currently promoting “The Color of Care,” a documentary she’s producing about racial inequity in healthcare. Winfrey’s studio Harpo Productions partnered with the Smithsonian Channel and director Yance Ford for the project.
“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.”
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.”
Winfrey also spoke to the LA Times about her own experiences with privilege and racism in healthcare, including the time a doctor misdiagnosed a thyroid issue that caused her to have heart palpitations.
“The Color of Care” premieres May 1 on the Smithsonian Channel. The documentary will also be available for free on YouTube and the Smithsonian Channel’s Facebook until May 31.