This is one of the incredible stories that are coming to light these days. However, it is still catchy. The protagonist is María Andrea An, the national ice skating champion, who lived a real adventure. It all started in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus outbreak (Covid-19) originated and where the athlete had gone on vacation to visit her family, along with her boyfriend Germán Parzon.
«I went to Wuhan to visit my mom. I was born in Argentina but she and my dad, like my ancestors, are all from there. Together with Germán, we left on January 18 and arrived on the 20th to Shanghai, where we made the night to then take the train to Wuhan,» he began in an interview conducted by journalist Jorge Blanco on DeporTV.Three days after his arrival, the city began with the restrictions on the disease. Faced with an increasingly complex scenario («they only allowed one person per department to go shopping,» he said), they decided to return. And there began the odyssey to get out of Wuhan and return to Argentina. They wanted to do it by car, but they didn’t get the permits and no one guaranteed that the routes were open. So, dealing with the Argentine embassy in between, they had to wait for flights to appear. They were told that one was leaving for Brazil and one was leaving for Ukraine. For lack of place, the option to travel to the neighbouring country was thwarted, so they had no choice but to head to Europe.» These were moments of great nervousness. The Ukrainian embassy organized about ten combis to pick up evacuees at stops throughout the city. We walked the handful of blocks to the point that we were designated – always with a beard – and when the van arrived we were told that we were going to take the temperature and that if we had more than 37o2, we would not be able to climb. The same would happen if we had any of the characteristic symptoms of coronavirus,» Maria Andrea recalled.
Maria and Germán, in the combis of the Ukrainian Embassy to go to Wuhan airport. Photo: DeporTV
And Germán expanded: «The flight was exclusive to evacuate Ukrainian citizens but had joined people of different nationalities. The aircraft was a typical cabotage model with two rows of three seats and aisle in the middle. He was sanitaryly prepared to divide the first class where the crew and doctors were located, from the economy class where we were. Both areas were divided with a double nylon with a space in the middle where they completely changed clothes every time they came to take our temperature and perform checks.» When they arrived in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, they had to spend 15 days there to respect quarantine. But for that, they first had to travel another 350 kilometers in a van to the National Guard Medical Center located in Novye Sanzhari. Along the way, several times his passage was blocked by protesters who opposed receiving the evacuees. «The nerves for those events were shelved by how well we were treated by the people at the military hospital and the entire Ukrainian people,» she said. But the film would have more condiments: Ukrainian health minister Zoryan Skaletska decided to quarantine with all the evacuees to bring peace of mind to the village.
After serving quarantine without symptoms, they were discharged. And there began the next chapter to move to Spain and be a little closer to home. After speaking with the Argentine ambassador to Ukraine, Elena Mikusinski, the operative was diagrammed. «As soon as we arrived at Barajas Airport we were waiting for the consul and the deputy consul, who had articulated everything with Aerolíneas Argentinas. They took care of dispatching our bags and parked a vip room so we can wait. Everything was well coordinated,» said María Andrea.Until it finally arrived on March 7, the day they set foot in Argentine soil. «We arrived in Ezeiza as one more flight, because the authorities were just settling into this coronavirus advance. We made the affidavit and Mary’s father was waiting for us with the car to take us home. There we started the fourteen-day quarantine that ended last Saturday and spliced with the mandatory isolation announced by the president. So we’ve been with more than 60 days and four consecutive quarantines,» Germán said.