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Subject: Australia's TV personality Richard Wilkins, who is area's host of Aussie's EXTRA Entertainment programme, talks of his virus diagnosis, which he received from actress Rita Wilson during her recent concert event. ...
'It breaks my heart to see these frail,
beautiful people not get what they need'. …
By Richard Wilkins
March 20, 2020
One of the good things about self-isolation is you get a bit of time for solitude and reflection.
It's been five days since I received my positive coronavirus diagnosis.
It seems like a month ago, and it's staggering to me how much the world has changed.
Just last Thursday I was in the office with my colleagues, talking to friends, and working away, when we heard that Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson tested positive for COVID-19.
This caused a mild panic in the Today quarters because Wilson had been in the building on Monday.
I had also caught up with Wilson and Hanks backstage at the Sydney Opera House on the previous Saturday, so I figured it would be prudent to get tested and place myself in immediate self-isolation.
I never expected in a million years I would test positive to the virus, and I'm still gob-smacked, having experienced no symptoms.
It's now been five days since I've found out and all I have experienced is a slight tickle of the throat in the last couple of days, I hope that's just psychosomatic.
Everyone's asked how I'm coping with being at home. I'm a bit of a homebody anyway so I've used this opportunity to catch up on some paperwork, do some chores and have a bit of a sleep-in.
I'm well aware that I am one of the lucky ones, and there are a lot of people who are doing it really tough.
One of the positive side-effects is I think I've heard from most of the people I've ever met from around the world.
So many great old friends, and strangers, have reached out to send their best. Lots of my friends and colleagues have offered to help me out with supplies.
It's been lovely and at times overwhelming.
But there is of course an ugly side to all of this as well.
It makes me sick to see some of our vulnerable and elderly citizens get pushed around as they try and get groceries by people that should know better.
These Australians have spent their lives working and saving hard; for them to have to queue outside a supermarket at 6am and get pushed around by fellow citizens, it's heart-wrenching. That's the worst of it all.
A lot of people have asked me what I plan to do when I get the all-clear to leave isolation.
I want to do my bit for the poor pensioners who in some instances can't even get a roll of toilet paper or bread.
I'm not quite sure exactly what, but I do want to get out there and do my bit, whether it's volunteer work or going street to street to help the vulnerable in my neighbourhood.
That, and hold my kids close of course.
A week ago, I didn't know I was about to face one of the hardest conversations I've ever had to have with my five children.
Not being able to be with them was hard. Having to tell them I had this thing was harder.
Calling them broke my heart.
Adam is in New Zealand, Bec works with Qantas - who are having their own challenges - Nick is working on The Voice, and Estella is at school writing down her thoughts.
Christian of course has been hard at work in Melbourne on Dancing with the Stars, performing exceptionally I may add, and the thought of his dance glory ending because of me was almost too much to bear.
He's been doing brilliantly, and I'm so proud of all my beautiful children.
Thankfully Christian, who was the only one at any sort of risk, has tested negative.
A week ago, no one knew how much was going to change, but if one thing is clear, coronavirus has shown me both the best, and worst in people.
No-one knows what the future will hold, but if we stick together, I know we will get through it.