The Today FM broadcaster has been isolating after her husband and two daughters caught the virus
Broadcaster Mairead Ronan is off air and in isolation after her husband and their two young daughters were all diagnosed with Covid-19.
Mairead’s husband, businessman Louis Ronan, and the couple’s daughters, Bonnie (2) and Eliza (4), all tested positive for coronavirus over a period of eight days and are all recuperating at home in Clontarf.
However, the 40-year-old broadcaster, who has been off the air at Today FM for the last week-and-a-half to care for her family, has so far escaped infection.
“I have been tested three times and I am completely negative,” Mairead told the Irish Independent today.
“I clearly have some sort of immunity to it because I haven’t got it despite the fact that I was in the same bed as Louis. He was breathing all over me, I didn’t get it and I still don’t have it.
“That’s three in the house who got it and myself and my 13-year-old son, Dara, both tested negative. We have been so careful all year but it’s just everywhere. We were just unlucky and picked it up in the community,” she said.
“Louis was diagnosed on Monday last week, Bonnie was diagnosed two days later and Eliza tested positive two days ago. I could have cried when Eliza was diagnosed on Tuesday but thankfully, she is OK. I feel so disappointed because we have been so careful. That is almost the annoying part. I haven’t seen my family since Christmas day but it is what it is. I am mystified because we were all so careful. I know what it takes to be careful and then it arrives, it is in my house.”
Just as the country was sitting down last Sunday week to watch the first episode of the latest series of RTÉ’s Ireland’s Fittest Family which Mairead presents, her family of five was facing the scary prospect that Covid-19 might have come to their door.
“Louis wasn’t feeling well and felt he had symptoms so he got tested and once he came back positive, we all went and got tested,” said Mairead.
“My husband has been quite sick. He didn’t have any breathing difficulties but just had extreme fatigue. Bonnie was fine in that there was no cough or breathing difficulties but she was Koala-clingy, so it’s like you are being held hostage by a two-year-old.
“Bonnie was extremely tired, so very sleepy which is worrying because they are so full of energy and when you see a two-year-old that’s really tired, it’s just so upsetting. Eliza has no symptoms yet and she is happy out, playing dolls.
“We were very unlucky and we had been so careful. At Christmas, we just had my family. At the moment, we are completely trapped in the house and we can’t even take our dog, Murphy, for a walk. We have been getting shopping dropped to the door and my sister lives around the corner and she has been getting me things if I am running low on milk or anything like that,” said Mairead
Dara, Mairead’s 13-year-old son from her first marriage, also came up negative when tested.
“Dara had two Covid tests and he was completely clear so he skedaddled to his dad because he was completely clean, otherwise he’d be just completely trapped here and couldn’t even get out for a walk. He is not seeing anybody other than his dad. He is not being disturbed and he is doing his school work there.
“Thank God my 82-year-old dad is OK, and so too are my two sisters. My sister works in Dublin airport and she has the option of being tested every few days there. It’s great to know that she is clear and can see my dad.”
Mairead has been off air from her 12pm-2pm daily radio show since Monday last week and today she revealed the reason and shared her Covid-19 story with her listeners when she phoned in to chat with presenter Pamela Joyce who has been standing in for her.
“I am back on the radio broadcasting from home next week and I will just go to the quietest room in the house and set myself up there and please God, no dog and no children walk in. Then the week after, I’m able to go back into the office from mid week. Our child minder will have returned and some form of normality will have returned to our lives,” said Mairead.
Today FM were sending her out a kit today to set up at home because next week will be the first time she will be broadcasting from home during the pandemic.
“During the first lockdown, Bonnie was only 18 months old so I went into the studio every day to do my 12pm-2pm show and then I would drive home, call Louis on the way and he would start his work at 2.30pm.”