Richard Wilkins breaks down in first appearance since testing positive for COVID-19
Richard Wilkins returned to his hosting duties on Weekend Today on April 4, after he tested positive for COVID-19 three times and spent 18 days in isolation.
Appearing on 60 Minutes, the entertainment reporter got emotional as he recalled the burden of not knowing whether he passed the virus onto his loved ones.
“I felt guilty, I felt ashamed, I felt scared, because it was early days,” the 65-year-old told Liz Hayes.
Richard showed zero symptoms of coronavirus and described the feeling of testing positive for the first time as “like a sledgehammer”.
The Channel Nine star went on to explain how his “mind went crazy” as he imagined a worst-case scenario of having passed on the virus to everyone he came into contact with.
“I felt responsible for my family, and the ripple effect kicked in. All the people I had to remember that I’d come into contact with.”
After @RichardWilkins time in quarantine he escaped without any symptoms, not having infected anyone else and with a profound respect for the health workers who helped him through. #60Mins pic.twitter.com/MfOCsl7bCG
— 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) May 3, 2020
Richard became teary as he spoke about his son Christian Wilkins, who was competing on Dancing With The Stars at the time.
He was devastated when he had to call Christian letting him know that he may have passed on the virus, crushing the boy’s dreams of TV stardom.
“The thought that I was going to have to call him, [tell him] his dad was a crook and that he couldn’t come home, and that he may have it,” he said.
Richard added that they “cried for a while” on the phone and decided they “would figure it out”.
Thankfully, Christian tested negative and made it to the finale.
Richard self-isolated for 18 days after testing positive for COVID-19 three times.
He first announced he tested negative in March through Instagram, where he angrily threw an empty Corona beer box into a bin at his Sydney home.
In the caption he wrote: “Coronavirus, you’re outta here! I’ve been cleared to return to work by the incredible team at NSW Health.”
Richard went into self-isolation on March 12 shortly after it was revealed that American actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for coronavirus.
Richard had met Rita twice; once at the Sydney Opera House and again during her appearance on Today Extra on March 9.
He first tested positive on March 15 and got the same result two times after before he was given the all-clear from NSW Health.
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