Stranded in Paradise: N.H. Retiree Rides Out Pandemic In New Zealand – NPR

hide caption

Carol Clapp

With New Zealand now finally ending its visa extensions, Clapp is preparing to return to New Hampshire. Shes already arranged for a vaccination in April in the Granite State.

conceal caption

Carol Clapp, a 73-year-old widow from Epping, N.H., and her new sweetie, Al, on a beach in New Zealand.

toggle caption

Still, the pandemic is a frequent subject of discussion among Clapp and her New Zealand buddies. Specifically, they ask her: whats gone so incorrect in the U.S.?

toggle caption

And this fall, if whatever goes according to strategy, shell head back to New Zealand to see Al
.

After Davids death, Clapp continued making the 30-hour journey each year, leaving Epping in October, and getting a return ticket each April. When the virus hit, the island country closed its borders and primarily marked out COVID-19 within a few months.

Every October when the weather turns cold, Carol Clapp leaves her family farm in Epping, N.H., and travels midway all over the world to spend the next six months in New Zealand. So when COVID-19 blew up internationally last March, the long-distance snowbird ended up being stranded in a paradise of sorts. “Ive had quite a year here,” stated Clapp, 73, over a Zoom call from the patio of her house in the village of Riverton, as the birds in the eucalyptus trees chirped. Shes been taking art classes, gardening, and every once in a while heading to the race track. She says hardly anyone uses masks. And she has a new sweetheart, Al, whom she satisfied one night at a bar in the close-by city of Invercargill. “I got a boyfriend out of the lockdown!” she states. “Al is my brand-new guy, and he just takes actually good care of me.” Clapp, a widow, very first checked out New Zealand with her late partner David in 1978. When their son later on decided to go to college there, they purchased a house.

Carol Clapp

” They were really concerned, and typically grateful to be here and really worried that the United States had such a weak action to the COVID scenario that got so out of control, which the nation is so divided,” stated Clapp about her regional good friends. “They simply hope the United States survives this.”

Every October when the weather condition turns cold, Carol Clapp leaves her family farm in Epping, N.H., and travels midway around the world to spend the next 6 months in New Zealand. “Ive had quite a year here,” said Clapp, 73, over a Zoom call from the porch of her house in the little town of Riverton, as the birds in the eucalyptus trees chirped. Clapp, a widow, first visited New Zealand with her late other half David in 1978.” They take the infection extremely seriously here,” Clapp stated. New Zealand let stranded tourists extend their visas, so Clapp got a six-month extension, and then another extension.

Carol Clapp

Carol Clapp

Clapp frequents a regional racetrack. She has been out and about in the past year and says barely anybody in New Zealand uses masks.

Carol Clapp, a 73-year-old widow from Epping, N.H., and her brand-new sweetie, Al, on a beach in New Zealand.

” They take the infection very seriously here,” Clapp said. New Zealand let stranded travelers extend their visas, so Clapp got a six-month extension, and then another extension.

toggle caption

Carol Clapp

hide caption

Now that New Zealand has stopped extending traveler visas, Clapp is planning to go back to New Hampshire and has a vaccine appointment arranged in April.

Carol Clapp

Carol Clapp

Carol Clapp

Clapp frequents a regional racetrack. She has actually been out and about in the past year and states hardly anybody in New Zealand wears masks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *