COVID-19 stories #1: “I had to decide to take my trip and go into rematch or cancel it and lose hundreds of dollars”

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During these scary COVID-19 times we have to stay strong, however difficult it may be. Some of us are dealing with homesickness, some feel scared and others try to make the best out of the situation. We are all dealing with this situation in a different way, but we want to let you know that you are NOT (!) alone. We will share COVID-19 stories from au pairs to show you that you are not the only one who is dealing with this.

Au pair from Germany

A few weeks ago I was working and my host mom asked me to go to Whole Foods to get some things. When I went in some of the things I needed were gone like toilet paper, pasta and rice. I was totally confused.

When I went back and told me hostmom that I couldn’t get everything she told me that it wasn’t a big coincidence because people are stocking up because of a possible lockdown. Now I was totally confused! Why would there be a lockdown? She told me it was because of the corona virus. Yes, I’ve heard about it but I thought it was just a ‘China thing’ and that there were some cases in Washington State and California.

The thing was that I planned a trip with my sister from Germany in the spring break for two weeks. We wanted to do a road trip. The next day my hostmom just said: oh, maybe your sister can’t come anymore and you have to cancel your trip. I was totally shocked about this. Why should my sister not come and why should I cancel my trip? I had no idea about the virus. So, I spent two days on my phone and read everything about this virus.

It turned out that we (me and my host mom) had totally different opinions on this topic. For me it didn’t really matter if I got the virus but they were freaking out about it and were in total panic. I felt totally alone here and I was so sad. It was frustrating to feel alone and to be with that decision if I should cancel the trip. I tried my best to stay positive but a day later my hostfamily had a big talk with me about the trip.

They told me that if I decided to go on with my trip I was not allowed back in the house. This was, because they thought I would then get the virus. I can’t describe how I felt at that moment. I felt bad, sad, frustrated, alone and so many more things. I didn’t knew what to do: go on with my trip and risk a rematch or cancel my trip and lose hundreds of dollars? I felt like no one is helping me with this situation.

A few days later I had kind of a breakdown because it was way too much! Some people might don’t understand but you feel alone with all of that. My host parents and I decided to sit together and talk. We talked about the situation and I had a better understanding after this. It might not matter if I get the virus, but when I infect other people which are probably not in the best conditions that would be bad, really bad.

So my sister and I decided to cancel our trip. Yes, it was a hard decision and we lost a lot of money but it was the best decision. Especially when Trump announced that there are no flights going to and from Europe anymore.

This situation is bad and au pairs feel alone. Some are locked down, some are not allowed to go to public places. You can’t live your normal life at the moment. But better days will come and we will laugh about this one day. We will never forget this but it will make us stronger.

Do you feel inspired and want to share your story with us? Send an email to and tell us about your situation.

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