Willie Nelson, a well-known country music performer and generational inspiration, recently opened up about a terrifying health crisis earlier this year. Willie, 89, continues to travel the United States with the Nelson Family band, demonstrating his unshakable devotion to his career.
Willie Nelson was forced to postpone his Jazz Fest headlining performance after discovering that one of the Willie Nelson Family Band members had tested positive for COVID-19 on a tour in May of last year. Willie, it was later discovered, was the one who caught the illness.
Anyone who awakened in the middle of the night on their tour bus, like Willie, would be afraid. His fast polymerase chain reaction test verified his worst nightmare: he had COVID-19. Willie’s age and susceptibility to the infection compounded the situation.
Anne Nelson, Willie Nelson’s wife, described the steps they took to secure his recovery. «I had a nebulizer with me on the bus.» At the time, I started everything I could, including Paxlovid. He was carrying monoclonal antibodies. She confessed that he was on steroids. To provide Willie with the best possible care, they converted their Spicewood, Texas, house into a makeshift hospital and requested the assistance of a full medical team to monitor his condition.
Anne remembered those difficult days, stating, «There were a couple of times when I wasn’t sure he was going to make it.» Willie’s rehabilitation was not easy, but he was back on stage and ready to play after six days. Two weeks later, he was back on the road, playing in New Braunfels, Texas.
Willie Nelson’s experience with COVID-19 should serve as a warning not to underestimate the virus. Willie retains his trademark sense of humor despite his awful encounter, adding, «COVID ain’t nothing to laugh at, that’s for sure.» His perseverance and tenacity are an inspiration to all of us.
Willie Nelson and his Family Band will play live on September 24 at the Farm Aid 2022 Music Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina. He’ll be joined on stage by Sheryl Crow, Chris Stapleton, Margo Price, and John Mellencamp, among others. Let us all come together to celebrate the resilience of the human spirit and the power of music.