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15th Jan 2021

The Cupcake Bloke on how easily he caught Covid and making use of isolation time

James Fenton

Graham Herterich, AKA The Cupcake Bloke, excuses himself as he picks up the phone – “Sorry, I’m eating a salt and vinegar crisp and I might just be getting my taste back.

A good sign because for Graham, the first indication that something was wrong was his loss of taste and smell. “We closed the shop last Sunday and I phoned the GP. I got tested for Covid on Monday, got the positive result on Tuesday and now I’m self isolating until next Wednesday.”

It might sound like inspiration for a new Craig David song but the reality is that seemingly young and healthy people like Graham have just as much chance of catching this virus as anyone else. So what happened in Graham’s case?

“We weren’t going to house parties, we weren’t using public transport, we were following every rule,” he explains. “The contact tracer put it like this – you’re in a shop and you take a sliced pan home. You wash your hands when you come in but then you pick the sliced pan up again and that’s how easily you can get it.”

As soon as Graham felt his symptoms, he announced a temporary closure of The Cupcake Bloke store in Rialto, something he managed to avoid throughout the chaos of 2020.

“We had shorter hours and reduced weeks but we managed to stay open throughout the pandemic, selling essential things like butter, cheese, bread and stuff.” he says. “This is the first time we’ve been closed fully and that’s due to my self-isolation.”

With Ireland in the midst of another lockdown, people have a lot more time on their hands and are looking for ways to fill it. The Cupcake Bloke is on hand to help in that department and you can find plenty of baking tips in the highlights of their Instagram page. “I’ll be adding to that during my isolation,” Graham promises. A productive use of his isolation time, if ever we saw one.

In the meantime, Graham wanted to use his own experience of contracting Covid-19 to remind others that it’s highly contagious. “I’ve had people messaging me, telling me they’re ashamed of catching Covid,” he says. “But there’s nothing to be ashamed of, anyone can get it. We wear masks in the underground car park in our building and I use the key to press the elevator button instead of my hands. We follow every rule.

“I’d just advise people to stay at home, wear a mask, wash your hands and follow all of the health advice.”

We’re sure all the customers of The Cupcake Bloke will join us in wishing Graham a quick recovery. In the meantime, you can keep up to date with HSE coronavirus guidelines here.

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