Oprah Winfrey has been quarantining at her Santa Barbara, California home during the coronavirus pandemic, and revealed on Friday that her dog Sadie is staying in her guest house. During an Instagram Live event, Winfrey told Gayle King during an Instagram Live event Sadie was examined by a veterinarian who had to remove her mask, leading the former talkshow host to worry that Sadie could carry the coronavirus. Late last month, a pug tested positive for the virus, becoming the first pet to test positive in the U.S.
"She's in the guest house for 14 days, because she had an eye infection and went to the vet," Winfrey told King in a special episode of The OG Chronicles. The veterinarian removed her mask during Sadie's examination, so Winfrey worried Sadie might be carrying the virus. King told her she did not think there was much reason to worry, but Winfrey thought otherwise. "I heard about a pug in New York!" she interrupted. "We don't know that! And I heard about two cats!"
Winfrey was likely referring to a pug named Winston, who tested positive for the coronavirus while his family took part in a study at Duke University in North Carolina. "To our knowledge, this is the first instance in which the virus has been detected in a dog. Little additional information is known at this time as we work to learn more about the exposure," Dr. Chris Woods, the lead investigator of the Molecular and Epidemiological Study of Suspected Infection (MESSI), told CBS News. In March, reports surfaced that two dogs in Hong Kong also tested positive for the virus.
Elsewhere in her latest chat with King, Winfrey made it very clear she was not planning on leaving quarantine anytime soon, even though she and partner Stedman Graham are quarantining separately. "I am 66, and never even thought about my age...and this is the first time I've been thinking about my age," Winfrey explained. "I was talking to TD Jakes recently, and he said when he thought about elderly people [who seem to be at higher risk for COVID-19], he felt so sad for the elderly people...until he heard it's people 60 and over and realized 'That's me!'"
Winfrey also fought pneumonia in 2019, so she has no plans to leave her home this summer. She "might poke" her nose out in the fall, but she would not even commit to that. As for her schedule, she said she canceled everything she planned outside her home. Also, O Magazine canceled its 20th-anniversary party.
King and Winfrey also praised essential workers who have put their lives on the line during the pandemic to help others. Winfrey cited the New York Times story of three hospital stockroom employees who died from the coronavirus, even though they did not work directly with patients. She said the situation has changed her perspective and will never look at people who "do the so-called 'menial' jobs" the same way again.