The Brendan O'Connor Show on Auti, Radio one with all care pharmacy discover a team that's always here to support you at all care taking care of communities across Ireland.
I know the person who had an interesting covid year is growing a gardener. Good afternoon to you and Brian Crown Donegal Groaner.
Hello, Brendan. How are you doing?
I'm great, thanks. Groaning You've been back in the front line working as a nurse during covid, but of course people will know your eyes as Miss Universe, Ireland and also from like last year was a year ago, Dancing with the Stars. Unbelievably, I know I've forgotten this this weekend. A year ago, there was a Dancing with the Stars final, like it seems like a lifetime ago.
I honestly, I look back and I'm like, it seems like another lifetime, you know? So it's so different to what my life is like now, but. Yeah. Oh, my God. It seems just so long ago.
And that finally was kind of just about a load to happen, wasn't this?
It was so it was supposed to be the semi-final and then the final and they had to pull it a week afterwards. And we weren't allowed in audience for that final show. So that was kind of when everyone started to realise the seriousness of the situation. You know, we kind of knew things were getting really serious at that point.
Yeah. And God, we thought our problems were can we ever Dancing with the Stars?
Well, I know that was the biggest problem. And I think, you know, a year later where we are, it's crazy. Yeah.
So what did you do then after that was over? Did you go back to during all that stage? Did you hang around with what was going on at that stage? Were things being locked down?
Things were literally just, you know, everything was just starting to lock down. And it was kind of that scary point where nobody really knew what was going on. And I kind of decided I'd come home. But I stayed in Dublin for about a week after until everything kind of settled down. And then I came home to Donegal and life just completely changed for me. It went from the craziness and the hectic life of the show to kind of just coming home to Donegal and, you know, going up to the farm.
And so it was completely different. Yeah.
And and you decided then to go back to nursing. Did you decide that fairly quickly?
Yeah, I did. I decided that pretty much straight away. I kind of you know, originally before everything happened, I was going to take a little break, is going to go to a nice holiday. And then obviously when everything happened, I suppose I just felt like I should go back and yeah, I went back then. I had to just wait to get my Irish registration in place because I had worked in the UK for a few years.
So that got all put in place and around April time and I started back then in the hospital. Yeah. So it must have been difficult.
Was it a scary enough prospect at that stage going back into the idea of working in a hospital?
Because we, we knew less, but in a way we we knew too much as well at that stage.
Yeah. Like, I was terrified, I suppose when you're out of work for a significant period of time anyway, you've always got those back to never, you know, back to work nerves. But on top of that, it was like the kind of unexpected.
You just didn't know what you were getting into. And obviously, you know, you didn't want to take anything home to your parents or your family like that. So it was I was really nervous and I was terrified. And I remember like just sitting on my sofa the night before and I could feel my stomach. I was like, oh, my God, why am I doing this? But then you get back and you're glad that you did it, you know?
So you're living with your parents, were you? Well, I was. And then kind of when I went back at the start, I stayed in my sister's house. So she has a holiday home here, which she obviously can't be. And so I kind of made that decision to stay over there for a while, just to be on the safe side, because my parents are a little bit older.
So presumably we've heard of people who work in hospitals and stuff coming home and disrobing outside the door and straight up to the shower. And you must have been terrified at the thought of bringing anything home to your parents.
Oh, my God. Terrified. It was like a squirrel, you know, before you even exactly like you said, come home. Shoes and everything are off at the door.
And then came back, then left my parents after a while after the numbers started to go down and stuff. And because it was yeah, it was a scary prospect. And it's still scary. It's scary for for all the staff in the hospital, you know, is it still.
Yeah, it is. And it's like, no, there's obviously a better understanding and you're more used to it, I suppose, and you kind of know what to expect. And and at the time, it was just the uncertainty of it, really. But like you said, you know, I was listening there. You just can't get too comfortable either. We're still not there yet. Yeah.
Yeah. And listen, you did get covered in your house. Not that we're playing the. Blame game here, but you didn't bring it from the hospital. So I know all the time that I spent trying to protect mommy and daddy, and it was actually then my dad got it first. He got it from close contact. And then it was around Christmas time, actually. So he got his result on Christmas Eve. And then obviously we were all isolated and isolated together in the house.
And then I got mine on New Year's Eve.
So it was like the worst Christmas ever. I was like, twenty, twenty one is going to be my year and then. Yeah, not so much. It wasn't a great start. Did you get pretty sick? We were thankfully we were all right. Like we were sick and we were, you know, we just weren't well we were tired and coughing and stuff. But thankfully no one was very ill or there was no hospital admissions or anything like that there, thank God.
So, you know, we have to be grateful in that sense, too. Yeah.
Have you been vaccinated now or do they check with you if you've had it already, like, then say no, you don't need a vaccination or anything, or do you just get it?
As a matter of course, if you had covid like within the last four weeks, I think it is you're not eligible yet, but you can get it then. And I have had mine. I actually just got it this week past the first one.
So it's kind of that we beacon of hope isn't it.
And G. Yeah. G to get the sick. Come on then. Up to twelve weeks. I think so. Yeah. It was, it was good to get it.
And are you feeling the difference. I presume you're feeling the difference of the day we've seen like that the Republic Vaccination Programme is making a difference amongst health workers and everything. Do you feel you're seeing the difference from over the border and many more people being vaccinated?
I suppose just obviously we're so close, but you kind of I have a lot of family and dairy and stuff, and they've all been vaccinated already. It's almost that kind of element of like, you're jealous because you just can't wait for life to go back to normal. And there is that sort of that feeling of amongst here that we're like, oh, we just want it. Like we just want everything to to open up and we just want to, you know, have a nice summer and even just just to feel that sort of way, you know what I mean?
So it's supposed you just can't really you shouldn't really compare because we're just not in the same level, unfortunately.
Must be pretty hard enough to know. I can imagine. Yeah. I mean, this is so listen, when you look back on the last year, what's your kind of reflection on us?
Oh, God, it's a hard one. Like, I suppose we can kind of take it as a as a year gone to waste, but I don't really feel like that.
Like I feel like we've learnt a lot from it, you know what I mean?
And it sounds cheesy, but we've we've learnt things that we know we take for granted and we've learnt that we should appreciate the little things and even, you know, just our health and being dick weather and stuff. And I got to spend this time in my home with my family. And yes, isolation was a killer. We didn't really kill each other.
And it has to be said, you have a fairly nice five K as well, don't you?
Oh, we have a lovely five K like, I'm very lucky and I I'm a bit small up here in terms of sharing that's online and I'm now with the beach again today. We live just on the coast. So I know how hard it must be for for some people that that don't really have anything in their five K or even getting to go out for a nice walk. So I do appreciate it and never took it for granted.
So are you trying to make any plans or look ahead over the next Royalle or whatever? I don't know, like I feel like I can't really, you know what I mean? I didn't really know what I wanted to do after Dancing with the Stars anyway. I didn't really think I was going to stay in Ireland, but I didn't have any solid plans.
And again, I'm just going to kind of wait and go with the flow because I just don't know. We can't really plan anything. It's hard like. But I don't know. So that's all I can say. I just don't know.
OK, sorry, I didn't mean to force you to have plans in the middle of a pandemic. Listen, babies, lovely to talk to your garden you got. Thanks a million. Let's take a break.
Email Brendan at RTG.