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Flying Through 3 Countries, 1 Virus

By Bruna Pacheco
On April 4, 2020

Photo by Bruna Pacheco

It was the weekend before spring break when some friends of mine that go to colleges around the United States started telling me the changes that were happening. Spring breaks got extended, classes were going to be online until the end of the month and even classes as a whole were going online for the rest of the semester.

All I could wonder was if, here in Kansas, I would see some changes as well. While I was a bit unsure, I had a feeling that it was only a matter of time until Ottawa University had some kind of prevention – but nothing extreme.

A few months ago, while I was writing an article addressing an explanation of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) and some ways to stay safe, I would never have imagined that things would change drastically.

I got a call from my aunt in Brazil asking me if I wanted to come back. She is one of the chillest people I know, so when she  asked me to go back, I knew things were getting serious. On a side note, she is a doctor, so she was aware of the depth of things.

I didn’t even think twice about returning to Brazil. It was a Friday afternoon when my aunt asked me and less than 24 hours after, I was already on my way back. 

At that time, I felt maybe it was too soon to decide. I trusted my gut and, looking back, I did the right thing indeed.

Photo by Bruna Pacheco

My first flight would be from MCI in Kansas City straight to Toronto in Canada. Then, I would fly from Toronto to São Paulo, Brazil. To finalize, I would have finally arrived home with a short flight for less than an hour to Rio de Janeiro.

In the Kansas City airport, I barely saw anyone wearing a mask or those latex gloves, not even the airline’s employees. However, I was wearing a mask the whole time I was there and during my first flight.

After landing in Canada, nine out of ten people had a mask on and those gloves but once again, not the employees. I didn’t want to risk it, though. In addition to these precautions, every five minutes, someone would appear, cleaning the desks around the airport. It didn’t matter if there was someone there, they would go and clean. I thought it was amazing.

Several hours later, I was back in my home country and it felt good to return. I have never seen that many empty seats on a flight like I saw this time. Although there were a lot of people wearing masks at the airport, there were also a lot of people without it, which showed that I was in Brazil.

People here just don’t believe in serious things but also, I don’t blame them. How can the population believe how serious it is if the Brazilian president constantly says things like, “It is just a little flu!”

After being in three different countries, I could see that each place is adopting different measures, and I have no doubts that it is in their best intentions.

Stay safe everyone and stay home.


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