….which is what you get when you have a positive COVID test and can’t leave Iceland.
I hadn’t been feeling great for a couple of days. Like I was getting a cold. I was so hoping it wasn’t COVID—but the test I had to take to return to the US confirmed that I was indeed infected. My best friend, thankfully, had a negative test but was in a quandary of whether to leave me.
After many phone calls and waits in line it was decided she would stay another night in hopes of being able for us to leave a day later together—and, more importantly for her, to make sure I was okay.
We booked separate rooms in a local hotel and crashed for the night.
I was told I could go to the local hospital to see a doctor and get a fit to fly certificate which would get me on the plane. I was told, it being Monday morning, a busy day after a long weekend, the earliest I could see a physician would be late in the afternoon.
My best friend and I found a local coffee shop where we could sit outside and have coffee and Icelandic pastries. Masked. Except when we were eating, of course.
We drove back to the hotel, masked, windows down, enjoying some small town Icelandic daily life views.
We both had tickets rebooked home pending my status. Having given me good care, we decided it was best for my best friend to leave while she was still healthy.
I dropped her off at the airport on my way to the hospital to see the doctor. You know you have COVID in a foreign country when you know the way to the hospital without using a map. As a note, hospitals in Iceland also serve as urgent care as well as ordinary health care facilities. That’s where you go when you are sick.
I paid my $175 fee (free if I’d been an Icelandic citizen) and saw a lovely doctor, Sarah. She did another COVID test and I was still positive. Not fit to fly. She told me to go to bed and return if my symptoms got worse. I went back to my hotel, and with many, many tears, my best friend flew home without me.
Every one has been kind and sympathetic. Helpful as they are able. I am a woman with resources (financial as well as some travel savvy) so I have it better than most.
But here is my word to all of you who read this: I’ve been very careful these past two years. Masking when others didn’t. Vaccinated and boosted. I still got COVID, and I am quarantining in Iceland.
The pandemic isn’t over. As they say, we may be done with the pandemic but it’s not done with us.
Please stay safe.