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 Austria
On Thursday, March 12th I was working with my host kids on their first day of ‘home schooling’. My host parents were also working from home. The day went pretty smooth until I received frantic calls and texts from my family back home in Austria.
My host mom ensured me that I should go and talk to them and so I did. My parents informed me that Austria will be closing it’s borders very soon and that my 82 year old grandmother, who has a previous medical history, is showing symptoms of COVID-19. In that moment I knew I had to make a choice. Go home and be with my family or stay and risk not being able to go home for a couple of months, in which a lot could happen.
I went upstairs to talk to my host parents and we decided that for me it was the right choice to go home, but I had to do it fast. Despite the fact that they would be without childcare, they were nothing but supportive. The same evening I booked my flight to go home to Austria, packed my suitcase and had my exit meeting – in 24 hours I would be on a plane to return home.
The next day was a blur. I finished packing, worked for a couple of hours and said good bye to my host family. On a side note, when all of this passes they can expect the biggest care package, I mean they even drove me to the airport.
I landed back home on Saturday, March 14th and Austria was in fact on lock down. One day later the government put us all in quarantine and announced that all Austrians abroad shall return home immediately. It is now over a week later and I still haven’t been able to hug my loved ones and it will probably be a while until I can. My mother is currently waiting on her second Covid-19 test results, but we are expecting them to come back positive.
People tell me everyday that I should have stayed in the US, where the situation wasn’t as bad at the time, or ask if I regret going home. My answer is no, I don’t regret it. I might for example not be able to go near my mom, but I was able to help her today, by bringing groceries and medications to her house and leaving them on her doorstep.
I admire all the au pairs staying in the US. It can’t be easy. Every situation is different, there was more to mine too, but I could write a book about my total of 17 months of being an au pair over the last 3 years.
I wish everyone the best of luck, things will look up.
Do you feel inspired and want to share your story with us? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about your situation.