At yesterday's HSE and NPHET briefing on the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Tony Holohan expressed concern at some of the cases of the virus that have emerged in Ireland over the last week. There are concerns we are in the very early stages of another spike of transmission with the Chief Medical Officer particularly concerned with overseas travel, even urging people to cancel any holidays they have planned abroad this summer.
Also at the briefing, as the population gets more and more relaxed and the fear of the early days of the virus are is dissipating, front line worker and Dublin All-Ireland winning footballer Siobhan Killeen spoke about her battle with Covid and gave a stark warning on the seriousness of contracting the virus and the after effects.
Killeen, who works as a radiographer in the Mater Hospital, contracted the virus in March, and really struggled with the symptoms, struggling to shake it off, despite being a 27-year-old inter-county footballer in peak physical condition. The story she told to the briefing was a harrowing reminder of the seriousness of contracting Covid-19, no matter what you age or circumstance.
Killeen spoke in particular about two under-reported consequences of the contracting the virus. The fear and guilt the sufferer experiences, and the long journey back to recovery after the initial burst of sickness is gone.
"While I was fortunate not to need hospitalisation, the unknown of the disease was frightening. I didn't know how my symptoms would escalate. I was isolated from my friends and my family.
The guilt was overwhelming. You ask that question of yourself: 'Have I put my family at risk? Have I put others at risk?'"
'I probably was naive in thinking my age and my health would protect me from a very infectious disease' - Siobhán Killeen, a Dublin footballer and former Republic of Ireland international, describes her experience of Covid-19 | Read more coverage: https://t.co/imcrSTD2KO pic.twitter.com/4K5hP0naV4
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The after-effects of this disease are very serious, even for those who are fit and healthy. I was in very good health, but it was a very tough battle. I, probably like many others, was naive in thinking that my age and health would protect me from a very infectious disease.
Three months after my diagnosis I am still on the long road to full recovery. I thought it would take a two week period of feeling the worst of Covid.
In reality, the weeks and months following my isolation were the toughest.
I was fatigued. My fitness levels had deteriorated, I had shortness of breath when exercising and I had feelings of worry.
As a Dublin footballer I was not expecting my recovery to be so tough or take so long. I know I had a very good baseline of fitness, I was in great health and it was a very tough battle.