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Source: Kathryn Sawatzky

“To everyone who has recently travelled abroad, OR IF YOU HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT with someone who was abroad, self isolate yourself. Please.”

I was in Spain 5 days ago. I bought a very last minute flight home just to be able to ensure I would get here before tighter security measures were put into place. I’m sure you’ve seen a few cautionary tales of people who were recently in or are in Europe. I’m going to give you a quick timeline of Covid-19 from my perspective.

I was still planning to go to Italy in April last Monday. That’s how un-seriously I was taking it, along with just about everyone else in Madrid. I was one of the few taking extreme care not to touch anything while I was out and about, washing my hands at any given opportunity and using hand sanitizer regularly. I was seeing people on the metro sneezing and coughing into their hands, touching everything, and basically behaving as normal.

No one took it the least bit seriously until the school’s shut down one week ago on Wednesday. Even after that, I was still going to the gym, going outside and going for walks, and planning what I would do that weekend. As case numbers grew, all people in Spain started to see we should stay home. And we still didn’t until a mandatory quarantine was put into place.

I came home to ensure that I’d be able to get here, because obviously we don’t know how long this is going to last and we feared I would get stuck there. I booked a flight to come home today, as we figured there was no way it could get any worse within a week. Within a day it was apparent that I wouldn’t be able to leave if I didn’t that weekend.

Please everyone reading this, take a page out of Spain’s book, with 20,000 cases. I texted my mom one month ago to tell her we had one case in Spain. It is not too late for us to act. I’m so glad to see our government taking action sooner rather than later, and seeing all the wonderful posts about people choosing to stay home or the brave business owners making the hard decision to close.

To everyone who has recently travelled abroad, OR IF YOU HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT with someone who was abroad, self isolate yourself. Please. Please do it. The moment I stepped off the plane I was not in contact with my parents. We kept a safe distance and I immediately went into the basement when I got home, where I’ll be for the next 10 days. Think about the rest of your life, how important is two weeks to you? Because it just might turn into months if you don’t isolate now. Thanks for reading.

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