Marisa Fotieo was on an Icelandair flight from Chicago to Reykjavik, Iceland, on December 19, with her brother and father. She tested negative on two PCR tests and five rapid tests before the flight. However, about an hour-and-a-half into the flight, Fotieo experienced a sore throat.
“The wheels started turning in my brain. I took a test just to help me feel better,” Fotieo took to her handle, adding: “…it turned positive. I saw it with my eyes.”
Fotieo, who is fully vaccinated and has received the booster, is an early childhood teacher in Chicago. She tests consistently since she works with an unvaccinated population.
In statements given to the press, she narrated how a flight attendant calmed her down. “I was nervous for my family who I just had dinner with. I was nervous for the other people on the plane. I was nervous for myself.”
Ragnhildur Eiríksdóttir, or Rocky, the flight attendant briefed how, despite looking around for an isolated seat, it was only in the confines of the bathroom that Fotieo could be “quarantined.”
A note was then put on the bathroom door saying it was out of service. However, the flight stewardess continuously checked on her and provided her with plenty of food and drinks.
“I was in shock that I was missing out on a family trip. I was in shock that I was going to be in Iceland alone. I was in shock that I had 20 families back home that just had me in their classroom,” Fotieo shared.
While inside the bathroom, she said she bought internet access and made calls to let her school know. She also made a TikTok video, which has been viewed more than 4.3 million times, as of Thursday afternoon.
On landing, Fotieo and her family were the last ones off the flight. Since her brother and father didn’t have any symptoms, they were free to take their connecting flight to Switzerland. Fotieo was given both a rapid and PCR test at the airport, both of which were positive, she said.
She was then shuttled to a Red Cross hotel where she began her 10 days of quarantine.