Coronavirus: Fresno firefighter stuck in Peru finally comes home

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- What was supposed to be a trip through many of Peru's historic landmarks ended in shambles for David Lockwood of Fresno.

Lockwood says the trip was everything he imagined, right up until the end.

As he prepared to board his flight back to the United States, the Peruvian government closed borders over COVID-19 concerns.

"We were all kind of crowded up together and someone came on a loudspeaker and said there will be no flights today due to the corona virus," says Lockwood.

Lockwood says things change rapidly in the city they were staying in.

Stores began to close while other businesses turned travelers away.
Lockwood says a hostel refused to serve him.

"I got turned down because the paranoia ramped up pretty quickly," he says.

According to Lockwood, many of the hotels that stayed open tried taking advantage of travelers.

"I saw a lot of travelers that were on the streets because they couldn't afford to stay at their place anymore because they jacked up prices," he says.

A 'shelter in place' order was issued, followed by a curfew.

Everything became uncertain, and the wildlands firefighter started to fear his job was in jeopardy.

"I was under the impression that I might be there for maybe another month," says Lockwood.

About 10 days after his initial return date, the US embassy told him he was finally be going home the following day.

On Saturday, Lockwood returned to Fresno.

While he's relieved, he says his thoughts are with the thousands of other travelers still stranded in Peru and in other foreign countries.
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