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Traveling with COVID-19!


By Marivel Guzman

Originally published May 02, 2020

I’m a former RN and freelance journalist. Recently I enrolled in the University of Texas free online course Journalism in the pandemia: Covering COVID-19 now and in the future.

The following text was my introduction to the more than 60,000 fellow worldwide journalists enrolled in the course.

Hello, my name is Marivel Guzman, freelance journalist since 2016, former register nurse and currently professional cleaner, I also own an Ebay store, where I sell plants to complete a decent income.

I live in shinny Southern California, where other than the lockdown of business, everything looks normal.

I traveled between January 28 thru March o4. I believe that period was the critical time of the spreading of the SARS-CoV-2.

I left from Tijuana Airport, to Mexico City, Amsterdam and New Delhi final destination. I was stranded in Mexico City for 2 days, and another 2 days in Amsterdam. The 2 days journey took 6 days. Since before I started my journey, I was looking for masks. Before I left Orange County, I couldn’t find one single mask in any store. I tried my luck local stores in Tijuana, Mx, then in Mexico City, Amsterdam and New Delhi, not one mask at the store airports or the local stores. That wasn’t surprising at all, what really got my attention was not to find people sick, or anybody who heard about anybody being sick.

I talked with airport personnel, travelers, locals in those cities, and nobody knew anything about a single person sick.

I spent 26 days traveling all across India, visited more than 50 cities big and small. I stayed in various beaches in Goa, and life was normal.

Due to the terrible internet situation in India, I was disconnected 80 percent of the time. But, I never stopped inquiring about the outbreak. I talked to locals, pharmacists, tourists from all over the world, and with all honesty, nobody knew anything about the coronavirus.

Even after I returned on February 29, From New Delhi, Via Paris, Mexico City and Tijuana arriving on March 04, still I only knew about the coronavirus from the news.

And strangely enough, not until it was declared a Pandemic by the WHO, It’s that everything started to change and the “death toll” started being the “news.”

I still have my reservations to accept the current lockdown situation.

As a nurse, I’m reluctant to accept the lockdown as a measure to stop the spreading of the infection, because it is different being infected and being sick.

Never in the history of an outbreak, the healthy is quarantined along with the infected, if that was the case.

I read scientific journals, and review scientific studies.

I’m always in the look out for news coming directly from researchers in epidemiology, microbiology and infectious diseases from various countries. I found many conflicting arguments regarding the new CDC death certicates guidelines.

As a professional cleaner, I have entered 60 homes, and I ask questions, I observe the situation in Southern cities, and I’m still to find a person sick, or who knows a sick person. At least in the places I have been employed.

I visit the USPS everyday to ship my plants (no mask)

As a freelance journalist, I have covered diverse events, visited supermarkets, hospitals, free meals for seniors, free meals events, mask donations, free food for homeless, shelters and I have done it without wearing a mask Nobody has gotten sick from me, not in my home, or my relatives, or friends’s homes.

What I’m trying to say is that the world was normal before the “Pandemic” was announced on March 11.

Visitors at the Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab, India. February 08,2020.(photo/Marivel Guzman)
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