Former WWE Superstar Aron Stevens (aka Damien Sandow) joined Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman on The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast recently and the two wound up chatting a bit about the state of the world today. The topic came up as Stevens had gotten a COVID-19 test done less than an hour before the interview. He discussed why he regularly gets a COVID-19 test.
"I think with the world we live in, where hopefully, we are very close to a vaccine, we still do not have one readily available, I just take it as a personal responsibility. If I'm going to be around talent every single week with both the Primetime Live show and Championship Wrestling From Hollywood, I need to do my part, and I need to make sure I get tested every week because I don't want to put anyone else at risk," Stevens explained. "I don't have a wife and kids or a family, but other people do, especially out here, even grandparents that come into contact.
"To me, it's just a matter of personal responsibility. I'm not one of these people like, 'oh, it's the government trying to...' No, wear a mask because it's the right thing to do. If my grandmother or my grandfather were still alive, I would want other people to wear masks in front of me, so I don't give it to them, and again, it's just basic, basic things here."
Stevens continued noting that society today is afforded a lot of resources to educate themselves about COVID-19 and understand the precautions that they can take. He also noted that today's technology and resources have made a vaccine much more realistic in a short amount of time as many intuitions have spent the past few months developing a vaccine that can be readily available for everyone.
"To me, obviously, there were some mistakes made with the virus and how people dealt with it and everything, but look, nobody's perfect, and again, I would have done things differently if I was in a position to do something on a national or global scale about it," Stevens said. "But it's like the bubonic plague. We have the miracle of communication via telephone, internet [and] social media, and if you look at the response to this, I mean, this wasn't even a thing a year ago and now we're pretty close to a vaccine which is unprecedented."
"We were allowed an education about it, and I don't want to get into the news because I don't believe everything in the news let's say, especially on social media, and Yahoo, and Google and all that. There's definitely clickbait headlines, but I also think we all need to make informed decisions, do our own research and just kind of go from there.
"Just be cautious. If everyone just tried to think about other people as opposed to buying crates of toilet paper because, here in California, it was two weeks after the whole initial shock of it. There was signs like, 'we are not accepting returns on toilet paper and paper towels.' I mean, how much do you really need? Stock up on water. You have that. OK, good."
Stevens commented on the initial response to the pandemic where grocery stores were nearly emptied out, but Stevens noted that there was never a chance that stores would run out of food completely. He also urged people to just wear a mask regardless of your belief in the necessity of a mask.
"We get through it, and to me, when people were panicking, the grocery stores, they weren't fully, fully stocked, but we never ran out of food," Stevens pointed out. "I was able to go and kind of see what poverty really is and what it truly means to be destitute, and not that we don't have that problem here in America, but on a mass scale, we still have it so good. Again, even in our worst with the virus hit, there was never a shortage of food. No one starved to death during this. We weren't eating rats like the bubonic plague.
"We were able to make our own decisions, and to me, let's take care of our health first, and then before we turn this into a political issue, I really wish people could understand and really focus on how alike we are and how very much connected we are. 'Oh, I'm not going to wear a mask because it's my right.' OK, but, you know what, there's people with grandparents who you may not want to give it to them and just in case, who cares? That's just my opinion. So that's all, but that's why I get COVID tested every week."
Hausman referred to the recent COVID-19 outbreak that has affected not only WWE but also AEW and the indies to the point where, as exclusively reported on Wrestling Inc, AEW had to change their testing protocols. Hausman asked Stevens if all talent should be getting tested on a regular basis.
"California, they offer free COVID testing. So there's really no excuse in my opinion," Stevens stated. "If you're going to perform, OK, you get tested every week. Is it that big of a deal? Really? I mean, you swab the inside of your mouth. I haven't done the nose one yet, but again, just take the necessary steps to ensure as much safety as possible."
Hausman also asked if the news has worried Stevens at all. Stevens said that he is not concerned about the virus, but he did note that he is still taking the necessary precautions to protect other people.
"No, me personally, I'm not afraid of it. I don't want to say afraid," Stevens prefaced. "I'm not concerned. Again, what I do, I keep my immune system up. It was really funny, back in March where everyone's buying toilet paper, yet there was a surplus of Vitamin C, of zinc of things to keep you healthy. I have a stockpile of that or at least enough to get me through a year, but I'm not going to live my life in fear of something, I am going to be cautious, and if I can not infect anyone, I'm fine.
"There was an incident where a friend of mine, who I was in contact with, tested positive for it. So what I did, immediately, I left the gym. I was actually at the gym out here and drove right to get tested, and then, I quarantine for 24 hours before I got my test results. And then, a couple of days later, took it again.
"Again, it's just me trying to do personal responsibility, and I think if everyone could just assume a little more personal responsibility combined with common sense, it would really help things as opposed to 'I'm not going to get tested, and I'm not going to wear masks and I'm not going to do this because this is America.' I mean, trust me. I love this country. I love America, but you know what? I also would love to keep everyone healthy in America. So I'm trying to do my part."
Support Aron Stevens by watching Championship Wrestling From Hollywood every week as part of the United Wrestling Network. You can also follow him on Twitter @AronsThoughts. Stevens' full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.