SA woman unable to return to her job in the U.S. - ‘I gave up my apartment to live abroad’

Illustration. Photo by Getty Images
Illustration. Photo by Getty Images

A W24 reader shares how she was affected by the grounding of flights and closure of borders as the coronavirus continues to threaten livelihoods.

Last year I was blessed with a job in the USA, and I fell in love with the country. It is totally different from South Africa. This year I have the same contract on the same farm where I worked. 

I had to courier my passport to the U.S. Consulate in Joburg in preparation for my trip back to the U.S., and the consulate received it on 17 March. 

But then lockdown happened.

READ MORE: SA wedding photographer stuck in New Zealand on lockdown - 'Flights were between R30 000 and R110 000'

My world fell apart when we watched the president announce the lockdown measures. I know it had to happen and that it's in the best interest of every single person's life more than anything. 

However, since then, I haven't been able to find any news or help regarding visa issues.I know that all the appointments were cancelled, but nobody says anything about passports that had to be sent via courier, or whether they will be granted when the lockdown ends. 

READ MORE: This is how you should be washing your clothing and bedding in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic 

I would have been in the U.S. for most of this year, so it was best to give up my apartment - it wouldn't be worth it to pay rent when I wasn't going to be there for the year. 

I had to avoid what happened last year when I had an agreement with my landlord to rent out my flat with my furniture - people don't respect what is not theirs, so my furniture got damaged. And I paid storage every month for all my personal stuff, so it was not cost-effective. 

READ MORE: Lockdown: If you live away from family you probably miss them - women on scents that 'smell like home'

I was only supposed to be living with my sister and her family for a month when I arrived back from the U.S., but it has become so much longer. I feel stuck.

I am thankful that I have a home and family to be with, but I still have to be able to live. I am stuck not working and unsure of what is going to happen. 

How do you maintain normalcy amid the coronavirus pandemic? Share your ideas with us here.

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