Lady Gaga Is Opening Up About Her Experience During The Pandemic

In this week’s issue of PEOPLE, the pop star, 34, reveals that a family member was hospitalized amid the coronavirus crisis.

When asked what has been giving her hope the past year, Gaga got emotional.

“I got to be honest. I’m about to cry on the other end of this call with you because it’s really it’s doctors, it’s nurses, it’s essential workers,” she says. “I haven’t spoken to this person about speaking about this publicly, but I will tell you that a very important member of my family was very, very ill recently and in the hospital for almost two months.

I was in the ICU by myself many times because you can’t go in with more than one person, if you can go in at all. I have never seen the heroic acts of bravery that I witnessed, watching these doctors and nurses and people that were cleaning at the hospitals.”

For more on Lady Gaga, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.

The Grammy- and Oscar-winning star adds she was moved by the kindness of the staff she encountered during the difficult time.

“They put their heart and soul into their work, and they even cared for me, who β€” I assure you, nobody could even recognize me behind all the gear that I had on. They just said, ‘How are you doing? How is your family? Is everything okay? Can we do anything?'” Gaga says.

Since the pandemic hit in 2020, Gaga has been helping with relief. Last spring, she and Global Citizen raised more than $127 million with the One World: Together at Home concert to support health care works and fight COVID-19.

Now the superstar has partnered with the International WELL Building Institute to promote the WELL Health-Safety Seal, which verifies that buildings have taken the necessary steps to prioritize the health and safety of visitors during the coronavirus crisis.

“It’s essential work to getting us back into buildings and indoor spaces,” she says. “It is very important that as a result of what’s happened because of COVID-19, we start to rebuild the global community; we won’t be able to rebuild the global community until we start building it at the local level.”

Gaga is particularly passionate about helping small businesses devastated pandemic.

“What I’m looking forward to the most is making sure that small business owners and people that work for small businesses can get back to work and live their lives,” she says. “My father runs a restaurant, and I’ve seen the true heartache it’s caused him β€” and watching the way that restaurant owners have suffered is something my family knows intimately.”

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