Broadcaster Eamon Dunphy has spent the last 44 weeks cocooned in his Dublin home and admits that if he gets Covid-19 “there will be no more Eamo.”
he 75-year-old pundit and podcaster has emphysema, which is one of the identified respiratory health conditions that the HSE and other world health organisations have warned about when it comes to how deadly, and potentially fatal, the virus can be.
“I don’t smoke any more but after years of it I developed emphysema so I won’t be taking any chances with the virus. I can’t,” he told the Sunday World.
“I haven’t seen my kids or grandkids since last March, let alone hug them and spend time with them. It is hard. So hard at times, but it is a small price to pay to stay alive.
It took some getting used to when this all kicked off, but we got into the swing of things soon. But Christmas was hard. I can’t lie about that.
“But with news of the various vaccines getting approved and rolled out there is ‘hope’ now. I know we are currently in the s**t going through some horrendous case numbers and deaths, but if we can get through this third wave there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“We cannot go into a fourth wave though. So, we need to all be stronger than we’ve been before.”
Dunphy admits it is hard to look out his window and see people not complying with Government recommendations for social distancing and mask wearing, but he is uncharacteristically balanced in his opinions on them.
“Listen, it is so hard for people of different generations to stick to the rules. I have it so easy here at home. I am happy. Jane is here. We mind each other.
“I can still work away on my podcasts and newspaper columns. I have my TV to watch the racing and the football and the phone to call my family and pals. What more do I want or need? I’m blessed in many ways.
“So many people out there cannot work, cannot find childcare and cannot cope. I haven’t met a single person other than my wife in 10 months or been in a shop, but I genuinely feel like one of the lucky ones.
“There are front line workers heading into the virus every day. There are people who have lost loved ones and weren’t able to mourn properly; they couldn’t go to their funerals.
There are people living in very cramped conditions who fear for their lives. There are people living alone.”
He continued: “There are people who have lost their jobs and don’t look like ever getting them back. There are people who don’t have childcare any more and are now trying to juggle their jobs with minding babies and toddlers.
“So, I am not the one who needs your sympathy. I am missing out on things but I am one of the lucky ones.”
And will the former international footballer have any doubts about getting the jab when it is made available?
“Ha. No. I will be first in line as soon as I get the call but I am a bit away yet I think. It is far more important that the front line workers and vulnerable in confined communities get it first.”
Like the rest of us, the father of two has a long ‘to-do’ list when the virus is gone.
“Lillies is gone so I don’t have that on my list,” he laughs.
“But I will be spending time with my family and heading out for lunches with mates who I miss having the craic with.”
He added: “The Government needs to get this month right. We all need to be sensible and we need the proper guidance.”
Source: Irish News