Channel Nine entertainment editor Richard Wilkins has appeared on-air for the first time since his coronavirus diagnosis, sharing his emotional state following the news.
Speaking to the Today Show, Wilkins spoke of his family.
“Last night, having to call my kids and tell them wasn’t much fun,” he said.
“The weird thing is, all you want to do at a time like this, more than anything in the world, is to hug your kids. But it’s the last thing I can do.”
The 65-year-old has five children, but has been in the closest contact with his son Christian, who is currently competing on Dancing with the Stars.
“I called him after his show last night and he was very upset, he’s going to get tested in an hour. Fingers crossed he’ll be okay, which I’m sure he will be,” he said.
In terms of his own health, the veteran journalist said he’s feeling “surprisingly well”.
Watch: Richard Wilkins on his COVID-19 diagnosis. Post continues after video.
“Look, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I [found out]. It took me a couple of minutes to reel from the news,” he said.
“I don’t have a sore throat, I don’t have a runny nose and I don’t have a headache. Maybe I’m going to get sick tomorrow? I’m almost waiting for something to happen. If I can say anything to anybody, it’s that if this is what it’s like, so far so good.”
More significant than the worries about his health, it seems, are his feelings of guilt.
“You feel guilty and embarrassed almost,” he told Today. “I went and did a piece with Fitzy and Wippa last Thursday morning and they’re off air today. I had to phone them last night.”
Wilkins acknowledged that he cannot know for sure how he contracted the virus but the “ripple effect” scares him.
“I pray to God I can get rid of this thing and I pray to God nobody else gets it because of me,” he said.