In late March, I flew from Madrid (then, the epicenter of the virus) back to Chicago to stay with family. I’m an American passport holder so I thought it would be safer in the US instead of with my boyfriend in Spain.

The experience was surreal. Since only US citizens were allowed to fly to the US, the plane was virtually empty. As was the airport. Everything was closed. However, since the couple dozens other passengers seemed to be in the same boat I was (returning to their country of origin for safety after a stressful time abroad) the mood was actually full of relief. There is a particular anxiety in living in a virus-infested country when you don’t have citizenship or permanent residence. The stress of traveling with other potential carriers was far outweighed by our collective relief of returning home.

A queer, herbivorous, leftist Viking. I write about society, justice, and popular media. UChicago grad. Based in Iceland.

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