The MSNBC anchor opened up in a candid segment, urging viewers to rethink their holiday plans.
Rachel Maddow has an urgent message for viewers after her partner of 21 years, Susan Mikula, had a particularly challenging case of COVID-19 that left them both unsure if she would pull through.
On Thursday night, Maddow returned to her MSNBC show after taking some time off, revealing that two weeks ago, Mikula had tested positive for the coronavirus while she tested negative, forcing them to quarantine separately.
"At one point we really thought there was a possibility that it might kill her and that's why I've been away," Maddow explained.
Maddow also shared a bit of their love story, noting that it was "love at first sight that has never waned."
With a smile, the journalist and TV host added, "I'm one of the lucky people on this earth who has a life like that. She's the center of my life. She's the organizing principle of my life. My relationship with Susan is the only thing at the end of the day that I would kill or die for without any hesitation."
While Maddow has continued to test negative, her longtime partner has "gotten sicker and sicker" and Maddow has been forced to attempt to care for her without coming into contact with her.
Thankfully, Mikula is on the mend, but the experience left Maddow with a grave message for her viewers.
"Whatever you think of your own life and however much risk you are willing to take on for yourself, that's not how this works," she explained. "What you need to know is whoever's the most important person in your life, whoever you most love and most care for and most cherish in the world, that's the person who you may lose. Or who you may spend weeks up all night freaking out about and calling doctors all over the place and over and over again all night long, trying to figure out how to keep that person breathing and out of the hospital."
Calling the experience "scary as hell," Maddow went on to press that this holiday season has to be different if we want our loved ones to be safe.
"For Thanksgiving next week, you really are just going to have to just have it at home without people coming over," she said. "And yeah, that's gonna suck, but that's gonna suck so much less than you or somebody in your family getting this and getting sick."
According to the CDC, there have been about 11.5 million cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic, and around 250,000 deaths. The CDC has recommended Americans not travel this holiday season.