Rachel Maddow returned to the air Thursday to not only host her show but explain her absence since November 6. Before discussing the news, the MSNBC host opened up about her recent struggle to help her longtime partner, Susan Mikula, battle COVID-19.

“Susan has been sick with COVID these past couple of weeks,” Maddow said. “At one point, we really thought that there was a possibility that it might kill her. And that’s why I’ve been away.”

Maddow was broadcasting from her home office in order to continue quarantining, so was forced to set up her own microphone, camera, lights and more. At one point, she even had to walk away from the camera to investigate a noise in the background. As a whole, the segment was very personal, especially as Maddow continued to talk about her relationship with Mikula.

“If you know anything about me off of TV, if you know me personally at all, then the foremost thing you probably know about me is that I am in love,” Maddow said. “Susan and I have been together for more than 21 years. It was love at first sight. That has never waned. She is the center of my universe.” Maddow paused to remove and reattach her microphone, then continued, “I am one of the lucky people on this earth who has a life like that. She is 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 hesitation.”

She went on to explain that Mikula is now on her way to recovery, but warned that her story was not an isolated case, and that viewers should use precaution at all points possible.

“What you need to know is that whoever is 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 trying to figure out how to keep that person breathing and out of the hospital,” she said. “How can you bear that? And all you can do to stop that is move heaven and earth to not get it and to not transmit it.”

Maddow concluded by stating that, until her quarantine ended, she’d be hosting the show from home, then moved on to the day’s news.