(NEW YORK) — Longtime ABC News Correspondent Bob Woodruff’s 28 year-old son, Mack, has been diagnosed with COVID-19. He believes he came down with the virus while traveling from Europe to Sydney, Australia, while on a film project.
Bob Woodruff spoke to his son about what he saw countries doing as the virus continued to spread across borders.
“Traveling from France to Switzerland was not an issue. I think if you are traveling on the other side of the border, Italy’s border with Switzerland, it was a huge issue,” Mack said.
Mack says he may have caught the virus while at a dinner gathering with a large group of people while restaurants and bars were packed to enjoy their last day open for what they would anticipate to be the next four to five months.
During this time, however, Europe was peaking — although people didn’t seem to be too concerned, according to Mack. Parties and gatherings were in full swing as French President Emmanuel Macron appeared on television to announce all non-essential businesses would be shut down.
“So when the guy sitting next to me ordered a cheeseburger, the waiter came and said, this is probably going to be the last cheeseburger served in this town for six months,” Mack shared.
The following day, Mack got on his flight to Sydney.
“My chances of being infected in those airports, Geneva and Dubai and Sydney, the only other places I can think that it could have happened,” Mack said.
When the plane landed in Sydney, an announcement came over the speaker as they taxied to the gate explaining that the health organization would board the plane and hand out flyers.
“I believe it was a guy and a girl came onto the flight dressed pretty much in a full hazmat suit. They had face masks, and they handed out flyers about what you should be doing during the first two weeks that you are back in Australia. Self-quarantine is a mandatory 14-day quarantine. You can’t go outside. If you do, you have to wear a mask, but only for mandatory activities,” Mack explains.
Assuming his headaches were caused by jetlag, Mack overlooked the novel coronavirus symptom. Not until he had a loss of smell and taste did he come to the conclusion that he may be infected with COVID-19.
“I’ve lost my sense of taste before, but never to this extent. Still to this day, I could bite into a chocolate bar and bite into a lemon and I don’t decipher any difference in taste,” Mack says.
Staying in good spirits though, he jokes about his father’s food saying, “now I can finally eat [his] cooking.”
The road to recovery is tough but a big relief when it’s possible. Those recovering look forward to the simple pleasures in life — for some it’s the sunshine touching their face again or, in Mack’s case, enjoying cookies.
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.