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I am very cross - a corona virus story.

(87 Posts)
schnackie Fri 20-Mar-20 14:53:25

I have lived in the southeast of England quite happily for over 20 years. This year (several months ago) a cousin my age (67) whom I had not seen for 40 years, decided to leave America. Her plan was to spend a couple of weeks with me in the UK, and then go on to Athens where she has an American friend living. Fast forward, and after a week with me, she had a flight booked on Easyjet to Athens for yesterday. I tried to explain that the flight would probably not go, there was a travel ban in Europe, etc, etc, but arrogant woman was determined. She got to Gatwick and they did not want to let her on the plane, but again she insisted, saying she had someone to stay with etc. so they let her on.
She is now in JAIL in Athens, waiting to be deported, possibly back to me, or to the USA (please God). They took her to a detention place when the plane arrived and she has had enough phone contact to let us know what is happening, but then lost the connection. She says the (armed) guards don't speak English, and one woman in the cell had been there 11 days.
I have been in touch with her friend in Athens, but I am so annoyed. There is really nothing I can do but worry. Apparently the US Embassy in Athens is closed due to the virus.
I am not really looking for advice, but really needed to RANT. Thanks for your attention.

Teetime Fri 20-Mar-20 14:55:23

Oh what a horrible position to be in. Lets hope she gets sent back home.

flash1701 Fri 20-Mar-20 15:01:28

Interesting story, I am just surprised that easyjet are still flying to European countries.

Bbarb Fri 20-Mar-20 15:12:06

I'd be steaming mad at her too but this does tend to be the attitude of Americans these days (blanket judgement I know, but from the attitude of my friend in the US it seems to be true). One law for me and the other one for everyone else.
I almost want to say 'serves her right'.
All the same you must be worried sick. Would it be worth contacting the British Consulate, even if they point blank refuse to help (as they no doubt will) you will he seen as trying to do your best. Do they have the equivalent of our local MPs over in the USA who she could contact? Can you contact her yourself?
And I do think Ryan Air have a duty to take some responsibility too - do you have her flight details? or details of her travel insurance?

Bbarb Fri 20-Mar-20 15:12:45

Sorry - Easyjet, not Ryanair!

schnackie Fri 20-Mar-20 15:57:49

UPDATE - They unexpectedly took her from the detention centre and back to the airport. She does not know for certain, but believes that Easyjet will have to return her to Gatwick, and she will then return to ME!! Why me? I know we are related and she has no one else to turn to, but this is causing me so much additional stress when I don't need it. I am just betting she will be here for the next 12 weeks - at least. And even if she could get back to the US, she doesn't want to go there (I don't blame her - I'm thankful I escaped from that country 25 years ago!!!!!) Here's hoping she has enough money to find another place to stay in the UK. I honestly don't know.

endlessstrife Fri 20-Mar-20 16:31:16

Bless you, what a horrible situation to be in. I’m surprised the flight was still going, for her to insist on. Was it just for people going home to Athens? They took her there, so they should sort her out and get her home to the US. Could you contact your MP? I do hope you get it resolved. It’s bad enough to be isolated, but with someone you don’t like...... good luck with it all.

suziewoozie Fri 20-Mar-20 17:00:01

Don’t let her come to you. Given her attitude, how do you think she’d behave in terms of following rules etc. Just tell her NO and then NO again for good measure

Wheniwasyourage Fri 20-Mar-20 18:30:58

Oh dear, schnakie, you certainly don't need this! You'll need to make it clear that she'll have to pay her way if she's expecting to stay with you for a while. flowers

suziewoozie Fri 20-Mar-20 18:33:20

But what might she be bringing back with her - that’s surely the most important question. She wouldn’t be coming into my house that’s for sure - unless I had a self contained guest wing

schnackie Fri 20-Mar-20 18:36:56

I know I am a complete marshmallow, but I just will not be able to shut her out of my flat. My daughter is even cross with me for accepting her back, but she (the cousin) is not rich and I don't know where else she would go. She is expected to arrive back here about midnight, and I will try and make her stay confined to the bedroom (I am keeping my living room for myself.)
God only knows what viruses she has been exposed to in the Greek detention centre and airport. Woe is me. Thank you all for advice and sympathy but I simply cannot turn her away.

Kerenhappuch Fri 20-Mar-20 18:38:05

I think they are deporting her fromGreece so it's the airline's duty to bring her back to where she flew there from. It's her own responsibility to get herself back to the US.

How annoying and frustrating for you - she can't possibly expect to dump herself on you for the duration, surely?

M0nica Fri 20-Mar-20 18:45:54

There are branches of Premier Inn and Travel Lodge at Gatwick. After her unexpected (to her) incarceration in gaol in Athens, she should book herself there. If she cannot afford it she can speak to staff at the American Embassy, dealing with arrogant idiots like this is on their job description not yours.

suziewoozie Fri 20-Mar-20 18:48:02

Well you’re mad - if she’s infected, you can’t possibly be safe in a flat with shared living and probably (?) bathroom facilities. You have two duties - to your dd, do you want to put her at risk of your being ill/dying and secondly, to all others you might be in contact with and maybe infect through your cousin. Being a ‘marshmallow’ in such circumstances just means not being a grown up and facing up to your responsibilities to others.

suziewoozie Fri 20-Mar-20 18:50:05

Send this thread to her and the phone number of a hotel as MO suggests

Hetty58 Fri 20-Mar-20 19:01:31

The virus is very dangerous schnackie. I'd just tell her that you are now in self-isolation (perhaps you may have developed a cough?) and sorry - but you can't accept her back.

She is not your responsibility. As M0nica says, she can contact the American Embassy for assistance. Sometimes in life, we have to just put our foot down!

Hithere Fri 20-Mar-20 19:04:15

She is old enough to manage this by herself.

Refuse to get further involved

No all people living in the US think rules don't apply to them, thank you very much.

welbeck Fri 20-Mar-20 19:16:18

this person is peripheral to you.
surely your daughter is most dear to you.
how can you do this to her, your daughter; exposing yourself and anyone you have contact with to severe danger.
just say no.
tell her you are now in strict isolation.
maybe get your daughter to tell her that.
do not endanger your life and health and your daughter's mental well being for the sake of some misplaced notion of politeness. this is life and death potentially.

Txquiltz Fri 20-Mar-20 19:16:56

Sadly, you may have answered your own question....she has no one else to go to. I suggest setting up a day...ASAP...for her to go in person to the Embassy in London where she will have to tell them she only has 1 day accommodation left in the U.K. The US has clamped down very hard about anyone entering the US...even citizens! She might have a slightly better chance with the jail history. Otherwise, they can recommend accommodation they have obtain for citizens stranded. That way, you have been humane, responsible, and provided a realistic opportunity. Returning to you from the Embassy is off the table.

wildswan16 Fri 20-Mar-20 19:55:16

I think you have to be really hard-hearted on this occasion. Tell her straight "you are putting my life at risk if you come back here, I am not allowing you to do that".

She is an adult and must look after herself. She has voluntarily gone to a place where infection is very likely. Get your family members to speak to her on your behalf so that you can keep out of it altogether if you are unable to refuse her.

schnackie Fri 20-Mar-20 22:32:52

Thank you all for your concern and advice. I am starting to listen more to the common sense you are making - why should I risk my safety for someone I hardly know, who has been exposed to God-only-know what viruses in the Greek detention centre and airport. When she arrives, I will direct her straight into the bathroom to change into clean clothes and wash herself thoroughly, then I will direct her to the bedroom, close the door, and let us both (me in the living room) have a good night's sleep. Tomorrow I will tell her she must find other accommodation. Thank you all for caring and for your sound advice.3

suziewoozie Fri 20-Mar-20 23:00:46

No no no no no no - you are mad and selfish. What’s your dd done for you not to love her enough? It would break my dd’s heart if I were planning to behave like this. How can you? I despair.

Hithere Fri 20-Mar-20 23:09:53


Your cousin created this mess, she can clean it herself.

Why oh why are you hosting her?

She keeps making bad decisions because everybody enables her.

welbeck Sat 21-Mar-20 00:18:51

this is distressing to read, and i dont even know you.
how must your daughter be feeling.

newnanny Sat 21-Mar-20 01:02:19

Put your dd and yourself first. Your cousine is irresponsible. She is an adult, make her face up to her own mess.