FG Senator opens up on impact of Covid-19 diagnosis on family
A Fine Gael senator has detailed her experience with Covid-19, which saw her isolated in her room for days on end while her young children cried out for their mother.
Emer Currie tested positive for coronavirus in October. When she first started coughing, the Dublin politician did not believe she had been infected with the virus but went for a test as a precaution.
However, by the time the positive result came back, her cough had become more persistent and she was suffering a shortness of breath.
Speaking to Independent.ie’s Floating Voter podcast, Ms Currie said: “There is a split second when you think your breath should come back to you and it doesn’t, and that isn’t nice. There were some hairy moments.”
Once she received her diagnosis, the mother of two young daughters confined herself to her bedroom, where she worked on constituency queries and, during down time, watched the Netflix comedy Schitt’s Creek.
However, beyond the bedroom door normal family life continued and Ms Currie could only listen in.
“The toughest part is when the kids are tired and they want mummy to put them to bed and you can’t, or if they wake up in the middle of the night and want a cuddle,” she said.
“There were lots of tears because they didn’t understand why they can’t have this one reassuring cuddle from their mum,” she added.
In line with HSE guidelines, the senator contacted the Leinster House human resources department to let them know she had tested positive.
Three of her Fine Gael colleagues were asked to self-isolate because they were deemed close contacts.
“It is not a nice experience to be worried about your family, worried about your colleagues, to be worried about the kids and whether or not one of them picked something up in school or whether they would pass it on to somebody,” she added.
Ms Currie admits she did experience “return-to-work dread”, but was thankful that there was “no finger-wagging or finger-pointing” in Leinster House when she returned after recovering from the virus.
“Colleagues were very discreet and my party colleagues were very supportive,” she said.
Ms Currie urged people to follow the guidelines while continuing to regularly wash their hands and wear masks in public settings.
“I don’t know how I picked it up but I know I didn’t pass it on because I was following the guidelines,” she said.