virus battle  | 

Mary Byrne blasts anti-vaxxers' 'Trump mentality' as she struggles to recover from Covid

'It’s a Trump mentality. I’ll probably get battered for that, but that’s what it is,' the X Factor star said.
Mary Byrne

Mary Byrne

Eddie Rowley

Singer and actress Mary Byrne reveals that she’s battling back from a debilitating bout of Covid — and is set to suffer another financial loss amid restrictions imposed on live panto shows.

The X Factor powerhouse from Dublin’s Ballyfermot, who is starring in the Longford panto, also paid tribute to our frontline workers and hit out at anti-vaxxer protesters.

“I got Covid four weeks ago after avoiding it for nearly two years,” Mary tells the Sunday World.

“I was coming to the end of my vaccine and was set to get the booster jab when I began to feel unwell.

"I was doing gigs and I was very tired, and then my voice went and I couldn’t speak.

“I woke up one morning and it was like I had 10 flus together all at once hitting me. It hit me like a ton of bricks.

"I was sneezing, I was coughing, I lost my sense of taste and smell. I was totally exhausted and I couldn’t move. I just wanted to lie on the couch all wrapped up because I was shivering.

“A lot of people said when they got the Covid that they lost their appetite. Unfortunately for me, even though I couldn’t taste the food, I just wanted to eat, and I was eating like a horse.

"I wasn’t sick in my stomach. I was physically drained and I’m still feeling the effects of it today.

Mary Byrne

Mary Byrne

“My daughter Deborah lives with me and I’m so grateful that she didn’t get it, even though we live in a two-up, two-down house.

"My chemist had actually phoned me to come down for my booster just as I got the Covid.

“I did get my flu jab. I’ve been getting it for the last 11 years and I’ve never had a bad flu. I don’t understand why people don’t get it.

"Every year when I get a flu jab I never get a bad flu, and prior to getting it my temperature used to go sky high and I’d see things crawling up the curtain and everything.”

Paying tribute to frontline staff, particularly in hospitals, Mary says: “My heart melts for them,” she says.

“I pray every single night for all the frontline staff, from doctors to nurses to the cleaners and the people who bring around the food. I ask God to give them the mental and physical health to fight this thing.

“These are people who are not getting paid proper money. They should be paid a fortune for what they do and what they have to put up with.

"They are women and men with children and families at home, and still they’re out there fighting our corner trying to keep us safe.”

Mary urged people to get vaccinated in order to protect their lives and the lives of others, and she is highly critical of the anti-vaxxer protests.

“Don’t get me started on them,” Mary says.

“Look, everybody has their own choice as individuals, but for God’s sake if you don’t want to get the vaccine do not be pushing it on other people and have respect for those who you can infect if you do get Covid.

“Marching and protesting outside people’s houses and putting other people’s lives in danger because you have a mentality that’s different to ours, that’s not right.

“I was watching the Claire Byrne show this week where it showed people going into the chipper literally in a gang, refusing to wear masks and screaming at the staff behind the counter who are just ordinary people trying to make a living.

"That just frustrates me terribly, it really does. It’s a Trump mentality. I’ll probably get battered for that, but that’s what it is.

“The statistics are there that the highest number of people in hospital are the unvaccinated and then you have these people in your face with no masks on and shouting at you. It’s idiotic.”

Mary Byrne in the Panto

Mary Byrne in the Panto

Mary says that she has struggled with her loss of earnings through the pandemic and was looking forward to getting a financial boost from her starring role in Snow White, which will run at St Mel’s College in Longford from December 20.

“We are still going ahead with a 50 per cent capacity, but everyone in the cast will be taking a pay cut to help the guys put on the panto at St Mel’s, which can match the biggest and the best as a production,” Mary says.

“I know that some of the bigger pantos are getting huge financial support from the government which is great, but they also need to support the smaller pantos around rural Ireland so that producers can put shows together and we can earn some sort of a living while we do our best to keep a bit of entertainment in people’s lives this Christmas.”

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