Oprah Winfrey opens up on her COVID-19 experience—'I did not leave the house' for 322 days

While talking about The Color of Care, her new documentary about the health care system, Oprah Winfrey opens up about her time with COVID-19

GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Oprah Winfrey visits GOOD MORNING AMERICA to talk about her upcoming tour, in an interview airing THURSDAY, AUG. 7 (7-9am, ET) on the Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
(Image credit: Ida Mae Astute/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

While promoting her new documentary, The Color of Care, which dissects racial inequalities within the health care system, Oprah Winfrey took the time to discuss her very own experience with COVID-19, revealing that she basically locked herself inside her house for almost an entire year.

"I've been so careful with myself that my own friends make fun of me," Oprah, who recently made a candid revelation about her inner circle of friends, said in a new interview with the Los Angeles Times. "I didn't leave home for 322 days—literally did not leave the house."

The 68-year-old icon went on to say that she was actually surprised about her comportment throughout isolation, finding herself at peace and not necessarily missing being around people. 

"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," she said. "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."

Oprah Winfrey

(Image credit: Getty Images / Staff)

Connecting her experience to her new documentary, which premiered on the Smithsonian Channel last night, Oprah acknowledged the uniqueness of her situation throughout the pandemic. 

"Overall, I was able to adjust because I have the ability [and] really strong sense of being in this present moment and living this moment without having to worry about the next," she said candidly. "You can do that when you don't have to worry about where your next paycheck is coming from. I didn't have to worry about, 'Am I going to have rent? Am I going to be able to get food? Am I going to be able to keep the lights on and am I going to be able to take care of my children?'"

After reading about the COVID-19-related issues that people of color have had to face throughout the past few years, Oprah decided to work on The Color of Care. The documentary sheds light on the various problems that plague the country's health care system, specifically noting the ways that the pandemic highlighted each one. 

"I think my biggest misconception [before making the film] was that it was about health insurance, that it was about having access financially and if you didn't have the money, then you couldn't get the care that you needed," Oprah said. "What COVID laid bare is that inequities in so many other areas of your life also contribute to the major disparity when it comes to health care." 

As usual, leave it up to Oprah to turn our collective attention towards really important issues. 

Anna Rahmanan

Anna Rahmanan is a New York-based writer and editor who covers culture, entertainment, food, fashion and travel news. Anna’s words have appeared on Time Out New York, the Huffington Post, Fortune, Forbes, Us Weekly, Bon Appetit and Brooklyn Magazine, among other outlets.