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The dance star who swapped a world-famous stage for Covid frontline

Dr Maria Buffini has performed for the Queen (Picture: PA)

A Riverdance star who went from the stage to the virus front line said the last year has felt more like ten.

Dr Maria Buffini, 37, of Dublin, was performing at Radio City Music Hall in New York last March when the crisis hit, cutting short the 25th-anniversary tour.

‘It was that week that really everything changed,’ she said.

The trainee GP returned home — where, after she caught then recovered from Covid, she swapped her costumes for PPE to care for patients at Connolly Hospital, Dublin.

A year on, she said: ‘It was just a really anxious time.

‘Every day you were going into work, it was like: “Is this going to be the day we just get completely overwhelmed?”’

On her last shows, she added: ‘It feels like ten years since it happened, rather than just gone a year now.’

Dr Buffini, who made her debut in Riverdance in 2004, has performed for the Queen and Michelle Obama.

‘It feels like ten years since it happened, rather than just gone a year now’ (Picture: PA)

Reflecting on caring for Covid-19 patients during the pandemic, Dr Buffini said she was aware of how lonely they must have been.

‘I always tried to be conscious that you were probably one of the only people that they’d have a bit of a social interaction with that day,’ she said.

‘It was really sad, especially for some of the more elderly people, you know, trying to arrange communication with their families, different things like that, and yeah I can still remember names and faces of people during that time.

“Or obviously the really sad stories of people who passed on from it.’

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