Cystic Fibrosis patient Jillian McNulty wears a mask in public to protect herself from contracting the coronavirus PICTURE: SHELLEY CORCORAN
Covid-19 has everyone on high alert but for the likes of Jillian McNulty, this level of caution and personal hygiene is nothing new.
Jillian, who has cystic fibrosis, spent a good portion of the Christmas season in intensive care and ten days in a coma, which left her weak and fighting for her life.
The Longford woman was interviewed via Skype last week for the Tonight Show on Virgin Media One, where she told presenters Matt Cooper and Ivan Yates:
“I haven’t fought for almost 45 years tooth and nail, every day of my life, to survive cystic fibrosis and to be wiped out by a virus like this because my government doesn’t care about me”.
Since then, there have been a large number of new cases of Covid-19 coronavirus confirmed, panic-buying frenzies, government restrictions put in place and thousands of people returning from abroad as travel bans come into effect.
“This is the norm for me. I’ve always been on high alert, always avoiding anything that’s going,” Jillian told the Longford Leader this week.
“Coronavirus has me a little bit more panicky, given the seriousness, but I’m self-isolating as much as possible. If I need to go to the shop, I wear my mask to protect myself.”
As the situation continues to escalate in Ireland, more people are starting to take it seriously, but there are still those who brush it off as “just a flu” or take risks because they’re young and healthy.
“I think some people will never get it,” Jillian explained.
“I know of people still going to house parties, etc, which is absolutely irresponsible to everyone who is being careful.
“It’s great now, that healthy people are becoming aware of the dangers and using precautions. I just hope once this is over, it continues and people continue to practice hand hygiene and coughing etiquette.
“The most important thing now is that people need to look out for others, if not themselves.
“While you might be young and healthy, there is still the risk that you could carry the virus to someone who is not equipped with an immune system that will fight it off.
“I can’t stress enough that people need to pay heed to advice and stay away from people, parties; kids shouldn’t be socialising together. It’s a few weeks to prevent hundreds of deaths.”