Self-isolation with diabetes
When coronavirus started to dominate the news, it all became terribly real and I was struck by sheer panic. Suddenly, there was another dimension to the virus. Reports about pre-existing medical conditions making people at risk of poor outcomes really hit home.
I was different from the rest of the family because I have type 1 diabetes and asthma. I felt that I was the weakest link. It was terrifying.
Sam and I talked a lot about what to do and we wrote to our childrens’ schools, explaining our concerns and asking if we could keep our kids at home. They were incredibly understanding and said we should do whatever we felt was the most sensible option. So, we took them out of school on March 11 and went into self-isolation.
I’d been due to fly to Ireland and sing at my nephew's wedding, but I cancelled. I was heartbroken. It was a horribly anxious time.
I was very aware of how many people were suffering across the country, and I had never felt so far from my family in Northern Ireland as I did then. Knowing that my diabetes and asthma increased my risk of severe illness was all very surreal - when I looked in the mirror I saw a perfectly healthy person. To keep me safe, I stayed at home while Sam did all the shopping and anything else that needed to be done outside of our home.
Work and coronavirus
When the UK finally went into full lockdown, I felt a huge sense of relief that something was being done to try to curb the spread of the virus. I had to cancel all my live shows. Life was very quiet, so we worked on the garden and threw ourselves into homeschooling, having lockdown themed nights and enjoying each other's company. It was the longest I'd ever gone without performing live in over 25 years, but singing and making music had never been further from my mind.
When it became clear that coronavirus wasn't going away any time soon, we realised there was no way we’d be able to perform live for the foreseeable. Making the decision to cancel our Christmas tour was a real blow. To top it all, we didn't qualify for any financial help from the UK Government. It's hard even now to talk about it, but we've been left totally on our own, as have many others in the same situation.