“It hit me like a ton of bricks”: stewardess on display at Covid-19 | News from the world


Gabrielle Wilson was enjoying a walk with her children on a bright spring afternoon when she was overwhelmed with an overwhelming feeling of weakness.

“It hit me like a ton of bricks. I had to sit on the sidewalk, “said the veteran flight attendant. Thrilling muscle pain crossed her body, accompanied by a “disturbing dry throat” that she had never experienced before.

Wilson, who works for Air Canada and asked to use a pseudonym, had recently flown back from Toronto to Frankfurt and back. Used to the occasional discomfort caused by her work, she ignored the symptoms.

“I’m not really a hypochondriac. Honestly, I didn’t think, “Oh my God, I have coronavirus” or anything. “

That evening, however, a fever had set in and his chest had tightened, as if “someone was pulling a rubber band on each side” of his lungs.

The next morning, with his body weak and shaken by chills, Wilson’s calm had given way to total panic.

Within days, she was quarantined in the basement, but her family also began to show symptoms, which prompted the grim realization that she likely infected her loved ones with Covid-19.

Wilson’s experience highlights what many in his profession increasingly see as dangerous work, as the virus passes between travelers and flight crews locked up for hours on long-haul flights.

And as borders close and governments advise their citizens to return home, Wilson fears that infected crew members – some of whom will remain asymptomatic – have become “super spreaders” of the coronavirus, potentially infecting many more.

When Wilson first realized that something was wrong, she resisted a visit to the hospital – fearing that it would add an unnecessary burden to the Canadian healthcare system, which was already feeling the strain of the first wave of victims of Covid-19.

But she gave in after talking to a pulmonologist and was tested for coronavirus in a Toronto hospital. The doctors told her to go home and stay isolated, pending the results.

“I had sleepless nights, which didn’t help me while I was trying to overcome the illness. I thought about my family, but I could only see them on FaceTime, “she said. His only real interaction with them was the meals delivered to the highest step of the basement stairs.

After six days, the test became positive, but by that time Wilson had learned that she was not the only one on her flight who was infected.


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