Americans abroad: staying or fly back to the U.S.

                         Americans abroad and the risk of infection

Many Americans are still outside the U.S. and up to now they haven’t made their minds.
As the coronavirus gets stronger each day, thousands of Americans stuck overseas still wonder if they will stay and risk the infection outside their home, or fly back to the U.S. and still risk potential Infection.
The travel was as exhausting as it was risky for the 77-year old cancer survivor wondering how to leave Ecuador and return home to the United States without risking catching coronavirus.
“It is not for the faint of heart and promises to be very grueling, but we wanted to gauge interest” the American embassy in Ecuador wrote in a notice last month to Americans looking to get back to the U.S. as the pandemic went rampant.
It was a nonstarter to Bob Rand, who remains in Ecuador with an immune system already compromised for previous rounds of chemotherapy to treat stage 4 cancer. Bob makes annual trips there to visit his son working in Quito.
“I think I’d rather be home surrounded by doctors than staying down here sick” said Mr. Bob
Those Americans who assumed that they will stay until the pandemic is over now are rethinking if it will be a good idea to stay and catch coronavirus, be treated in a foreign country or risk the journey and head back home even if that means risking infection.
The state department is winding down government organized flights that have so far brought home about 65.000 American citizens from across the world. Some continue in limited numbers, in areas like the Indian subcontinent and Africa, but “these flight will not go on forever” said Ian Brownlee, a deputy assistant secretary of state.
However there is still at least 17.000 American citizens abroad who have indicated they need help, at this point, the state department is urging them to take any available flight out.
The state department up to now has managed to get 3.500 Americans out of Ecuador including more than 110 this week, but Mr. Bob so far has been unable to book a seat. 
Now Mr. Bob hopes to fly out on a united airlines next week even though it would take him lots of time as the plan will go over Houston, Chicago before it arrives in Boston. Which Mr. Bob had been afraid of, but at least he will be back in the United States and he will get the chance to see his family eventually.  

Source: NYT

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