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Covid impact Karaoke singer tells how virus cost him his livelihood and health


James Brown can’t travel for shows because of after-effects of Covid

James Brown can’t travel for shows because of after-effects of Covid

James Brown can’t travel for shows because of after-effects of Covid

A popular karaoke singer who suspects he may have caught Covid-19 from someone he hugged at a funeral today pleads with mourners to be vigilant about social distancing.

Dubliner James Brown (67) has had to cancel a series of shows in Lanzarote as he can't fly due to his ongoing lung problems from the virus.

The grandfather has been out of pocket since the first lockdown began in March and, as he's a pensioner, he's not entitled to the PUP payment.

"I was at this funeral in September of a friend of mine and it's only natural to give a hug or shake hands to commiserate," explains James.

"Nobody knows where they picked it up and, like myself, you can be very ignorant to begin with and didn't take it seriously. Everybody was saying it was just a flu. There's a strong possibility I picked it up from the poor woman as she was later found to have Covid. I was diagnosed with it about a week later when I went for a test after displaying symptoms, sniffles and a little cough."

James warns people to stay away from funerals unless absolutely necessary.


"I'd advise people to be exceptionally careful and not go to funerals unless it's immediate family," he stresses. "Certainly don't hug people like I did."

He has been having treatment for an over-active heart and because of his underlying condition is naturally concerned about having Covid.

"I have had bad bronchitis over the years, it comes and goes," he notes. "But because of Covid I've never been so bad.

"It wasn't bothering me at all at first. It was like a bad flu and it went. It's now the end of November and the effects are actually worse, my vocals are gone.

"I've been on three courses of antibiotics and it didn't disappear. This week I finished a course of steroids and it's no better. When I was told I had it I was astonished because I felt perfectly healthy," he explains. "I can tell you it absolutely leaves an effect."

Dad-of two-James, who also has four grandchildren, has been a professional karaoke singer since 2003 and specialises in old-school material from the likes of Perry Como, Matt Monroe and Elvis Presley, as well as some country and contemporary music.

James had been looking forward to his first gigs since the Covid-19 outbreak, as he had been booked to play a series of shows in Lanzarote at Christmas.

"I'm so disappointed I can't play in Lanzarote this Christmas. I can't risk taking the flight over, a four-and-a-half-hour flight, with my chest infected. Coved cost me all my gigs this year, and it has now also cost me my health. It has damaged me completely."

Online Editors