Coronavirus: James O'Brien speaks to soldier concerned for family's health

17 March 2020, 14:54 | Updated: 17 March 2020, 15:37

By Seán Hickey

This caller told James O'Brien that he believes his job working within the British armed forces is putting his family's health at risk during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Harry, a serviceman, spoke to James on the line to share how he and his family are coping with the spread.

The soldier shared his decision to take his children from school, to which James took exception to. He didn't understand why the father of a fit and healthy family would take his children out of education if they're not at risk.

Harry explained that his job involves him speaking to large groups of soldiers and that there's a high chance he'll contract the virus through his work in the army.

"We're going to be delivering for 200 people in a large room" Harry revealed. He showed concern to James as he doesn't believe there has been much guidance for people in the defence forces apart from what the MODs have shared.

James had a moment of realisation during Harry's called and felt overwhelmed over the new information. "Every call is blowing the door off a whole new bunch of problems" he said.

The defence forces are one of the departments that have had little guidance to change habits
The defence forces are one of the departments that have had little guidance to change habits. Picture: PA

The soldier stated that within the forces they are "waiting for more direction" from the government.

The call resonated with James and he took time to try reassure Harry on how his voice can be heard.

"We're lucky that our PM is taking questions from journalists on a daily basis" he said. James suggested that through journalists hearing Harry speak on LBC there's a possibility that he may well have his questions answered in the next press conference.

James took the side of Harry and shared his dismay with the army having to risk their health by "standing up in front of hundreds of troops", simply doing his job.

He added that those that Harry works with are at risk by continuing as though nothing has happened in regard to coronavirus. "How do those troops stop themselves getting it" James pointed out.