Vanderbilt students question travel experience from Europe amid pandemic

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Traveling abroad across Europe, Elliot Choy, a third-year Vanderbilt student, like all of us, couldn’t escape the news as COVID-19 began its spread.

“Seeing that number go from like 200, to the next day 400, to the next 1,000,” Choy says.

He was in Spain and recalled the number of infected hitting 4,000, in four days. Soon after, Choy felt his own symptoms.

“I had a little bit of a headache, my throat was sore,” recalls Choy. “I had a little bit of a cough.”

He described fever and chills to go with it. His close friends and fellow Vandy students all tested positive. Although Choy never received his test results, assuming the same diagnosis, he self-quarantined. And soon after, he was ready to find a flight home.

“We waited two weeks after our first contact with someone who tested positive,” he says. “The day that was up, we hopped on a flight, one of the last flights coming into the states.”

But it wasn’t just one flight. He traveled from Spain to Germany, Toronto and then Chicago, before finally making it home to Indiana.

All those places, and airports, yet he faced little resistance, despite his recent health history.

“Once we got to Toronto, trying to get to Chicago, U.S. Customs gave us a one-on-one interview, asking extensively if we traveled anywhere that was a serious cause of the virus, and if we had any symptoms,” says Choy.

But there was no test, no screenings.

“There was no temperature taken. I thought I would get swabbed at the airport.”

That didn’t happen, leaving Choy relieved to be home, but puzzled.

“They should at least have some kind of basic testing, to make sure if someone is testing positive,” Choy says.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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