DOKKEN leader Don Dokken and recently talked to his good friend, infectious disease epidemiologist Dr. Anne Rimoin, about COVID-19, getting vaccinated and when we can expect to return to concerts. You can watch the 80-minute chat below.
Speaking about America's response to the coronavirus pandemic, Don said: "[It's] bad timing because of the government change — new president coming into office. We have a president that's a lame duck and is going out of office. It's bad timing for this — for COVID.
"From my end, as musicians, I don't know anybody I've talked to in the last four months in a band that somebody didn't have COVID," he continued. "I know everybody got it, and their wives got it. And a couple of them said, 'Yeah, it was horrible.' And they went to hospital and they rejected them. That was in Sweden. They gave him oxygen in a tank and told him to go home, 'cause he couldn't breathe.
"It's different symptoms [for different people], it seems like. One guy said, 'It's like an elephant standing on my chest. I couldn't breathe for three weeks.' And this guy plays ice hockey. He's fit, and he's a drummer. And then my other friend who's a bass player said, 'I just had a headache all the time. I had no energy. All I could do is sit on the couch — I could barely get off the couch — and I just had no energy to do anything. I couldn't do anything.'
"So it seems that COVID affects people differently," Don repeated. "And then you hear these horrible, sad stories that bring tears to your eyes. A perfectly healthy 18-year-old girl last week got COVID and died in three days. There was nothing wrong with her. 18, fit, ready to live her life — gone.
"When I do see people on TV, and they show all these people that are in critical condition — and the only person that's really talked about it is [comedian and talk show host] Bill Maher — you see people in the hospital and they show 'em, they're dying and taking their last breaths, but they're morbidly obese, and they've got diabetes, and they're 480 pounds. I'm, like, well, of course your system's compromised. If it wasn't COVID, you'd die of something else.
"For me it's a little frustrating," Don added. "How about just get healthy and take the chocolate cake and throw it out?
"Every person I've seen on TV that was literally dying or near death was not healthy — they weren't firefighters; they weren't muscle bodybuilders. They were in bad shape. They're diabetic, hearts failing, liver… and they're in their 40s."
DOKKEN is currently working on a new studio album, to be released later this year via Silver Lining Music, the label owned by Thomas Jensen, one of the founders of Germany's Wacken Open Air festival.
DOKKEN released an album called "The Lost Songs: 1978-1981" in August via Silver Lining Music. Featuring sleeve art by renowned U.S. artist Tokyo Hiro (MOTÖRHEAD, MOTLEY CRÜE), the effort contains material written and recorded 40 years ago as Don embarked upon a journey which started in Southern California and Northern Germany.