Brian May hails medical staff and lockdown amid coronavirus outbreak

The musician, who also holds a science degree, said the lockdown imposed on the UK was a positive.

Brian May has poured praise on medical staff (Ian West/PA)

By Kerri-Ann Roper, PA Entertainment Editor

Brian May has praised the medical staff tackling the coronavirus pandemic saying he “takes his hat off to them every minute”.

The Queen guitarist, 72, also said he believes the lockdown imposed by Boris Johnson is a “very positive action” and “the only chance we have of curbing this thing”.

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On Monday night the Prime Minister placed the UK on lockdown, which included a ban on public gatherings of more than two people, the immediate closure of shops selling non-essential items, and limits on when people should leave their homes.

May told the PA news agency: “I have felt very fidgety all along because I’m not an immunologist but I am a scientist and someone who is used to looking at statistics and very early on I think it was fairly obvious what was going to happen.

“My whole feeling is if you’re faced with a problem like this where something, a foreign organism, is invading, you have to nip it in the bud very quickly. So I got very fidgety because I was feeling we should have gone to an extreme much quicker.

“Having said all of that, it’s done, and we are where we are. But I do think it’s good, I think that the lockdown is a very positive action and it’s the only chance we have of curbing this thing.”

May, who has a doctorate in astrophysics, said people should accept self-isolation.

He said: “I take my hat off every minute to the doctors who are in there interacting and risking their own lives, I just can’t believe how heroic they are.

“But for most of us, if we reduce our interactions to as close to zero as possible, we’re striking a blow every day against this horrible virus – so isolation to me is something which you have to accept and not fight against.”

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In February Queen, including May, Roger Taylor and Adam Lambert – who performs with the rock group as their lead singer – reprised the band’s 1985 Live Aid set for the first time at a fundraising concert in Australia.

Talking about coming back from travelling, May said: “The contrast was actually very hard for us. It’s not just the fact that we’ve been very social, we’ve been very free, very in charge of our own destiny – we stride around the world playing to thousands of people and there’s no boundaries, really.

“Then suddenly I’m back home and, to be honest, I always get a post-tour depression thing anyway and for the first week I was back here, I kind of isolated anyway just because I needed to do that to get my head together.

“But then to become aware of what was happening and realising that isolating was actually the only way, I think it’s fair to say I was traumatised for a while. It’s such a wrench, such an enormous rewrite of the universe and the way you see it.”

The musician has started doing what he calls ‘Micro Concertos’ on Instagram for his fans.

Fire Fight Australia
May and Adam Lambert still pack out stadiums with Queen (PA)

He explained: “I’ve been performing because I quickly thought the usual avenues of performance are cut off for me now, as well as for everybody else. So I can’t go in my studio, I can’t create in that way.

“I can’t go out and tread the boards and play to people live, so what can I do? Well I can put stuff on Instagram – so I instigated this – most evenings I go in there and i just play… it’s become  various things, it kind of turned into a tutorial at one point.

“I think the important thing is just to play and make that contact and make people feel like life does have some normality, even if it’s a new normality. I’m supposed to be an entertainer as well as a few other things I suppose, that’s kind of what I made my mark doing, so I feel good doing it, it keeps me feeling that I can contribute something.”