STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet was a guest on the "Kingdom Of Rock" podcast to discuss the the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the entertainment industry. Speaking about how he and his family are dealing with the crisis, Sweet said (see video below): "We're doing our best to move forward with wisdom and do what we're told to do. I think the mentality, at this stage, of, 'Ah, it's not a big deal, and, 'It's gonna go away,' and, 'Who cares?' and 'We're gonna go out anyway and we're gonna enjoy life,' it's pretty irresponsible — it really is. I was one of those people a few months back as we watched it unfold in China and it started to really take root and advance and get worse and worse, and I always wanted to think, 'Ah, we're gonna be fine. We're gonna be fine.' And now, here we are, faced with the situation of cities are going into lockdown and people are having to stay inside. And it's all for the long term and for the best in terms of we want, obviously, to see this pass and get through the storm and everybody be healthy and not see as many deaths as we may see and try to keep those numbers on the lower end of the spectrum. And in order to do that, it's really being smart and doing what's right and not going outdoors unless you absolutely have to, or if you do have to go out, taking precautions."
He continued: "I've heard people say, 'I look silly in a mask,' and I'm thinking, 'Who cares?' Wear a mask. Wear gloves. Wash your hands. Keep distance. Be smart. Be careful. Be cautious. And use wisdom, and we'll all get through this if we can all do that. So, I'm really trying to do my best to do what's needed. And I'm here in my house right now, and we're staying inside. We had to run out a few times to get a few things — essentials that we needed — but other than that, man, let's all get better and get through this. And I know that we will."
Sweet went on to reiterate the need for people to stay at home and obey the directions of their state and local officials.
"The more responsible we are, and the smarter we are in the way we deal with this, the shorter the life will be of this virus," he said. "And we'll be able to get back to some sort of normality. Is it gonna be a few months? Is it gonna be longer than that? Is it gonna be shorter than that? I think that's all determined by what we do and how we handle this. And not just our government telling us how to handle it, but us, as people, being smart and using wisdom. We all have a brain. We're all intelligent, and we all know what we need to do — we need to just follow that and just stay true to that.
"It's difficult, 'cause we're all workers, we all like to work, we like to get out there and stay active and do what we do," he added. "That's the way of the world, and right now, we're being forced to put that aside. So it's difficult. Our instant reaction is to wanna go out and work and tour, as musicians especially. I mean, I'm a workaholic — I just can't sit still. I can't stop doing what I'm doing. I'm constantly recording and constantly touring, so to have to stop is difficult for me. But at the same time, our health is dependent upon this.
"We've never seen anything like this, and we may not ever see anything like this again in our lifetime. And it's crucial that we use wisdom as we move forward."
Less than two weeks ago, Sweet praised President Donald Trump's recent actions that serve to ramp up the federal government's response to the COVID-19 epidemic.
Trump has been criticized by some parts of the media for downplaying fears about COVID-19 or actively spreading misinformation about its repercussions. The president has since notably dramatically changed his tune about the seriousness of the crisis has been forced to soberly address the coronavirus outbreak.
Back in November 2016, Sweet drew criticism from some STRYPER fans for posting a picture of Donald Trump and congratulating the real estate mogul for "working his ass off for the presidency of the United States of America."
The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the spread of the new coronavirus, which began in China in late December, a pandemic on March 11. More than 684,000 cases have been reported worldwide and more than 32,000 deaths so far, putting public health systems and emergency services under immense pressure.