Leawood couple changes their trip of a lifetime in less than 48 hours because of coronavirus concerns


LEAWOOD, Kan. — Justin and Kathryn Snellen were all set to fly into Venice, Italy until the Coronavirus hit.

“We’ve always wanted to do this trip,” Kathryn Snellen said.

According to the reports, Italy currently has the most coronavirus cases out of any country outside of Asia. With nearly 1,700 confirmed cases reported in Italy, the CDC is warning Americans to avoid all non-essential travel to the region.

“Obviously, we didn’t want to contract the virus,” Justin said. “Certainly, that was a concern, but it was also just everything shut down in Venice, travel delays.” Kathryn added, “or getting quarantined and getting stuck, like that would be the biggest challenge.”

Kathyrn says that’s terrifying because they will have an 18-month-old at home.

So, the Snellens canceled Italy and immediately booked a trip to France instead.

“It doesn’t seem as risky as Italy per-say, but we still want, we want to have an experience,” Kathryn said.

They’ve been planning this 10-day trip for two years. Justin even took a four-week sabbatical.

“When we kind of weighed the pros and cons we thought we might as well go on a trip there are cases happening in the U.S.,” Kathryn said.

There has been one reported death due to coronavirus in the U.S.

According to the World Health Organization, France has recorded 100 cases and two deaths.

While the Snellens are hoping this doesn’t affect their touristy plans in Paris, the Louvre closed Sunday. The government has also canceled all public gatherings of 5,000 or more in confined spaces.

As Coronavirus cases keep poping up in France, the Snellens admit they are a little worried.

“Of course, the timing is really bad, but we’re just going to make it work,” Kathryn said.

The Snellens got their hand on a couple of medical masks that they say recently went from about $4 on Amazon to $90. They plan to wear those on the plane.

But remember, the U.S. Surgeon General is urging people to stop buying masks. He says they are not effective in preventing the general public from catching Coronavirus.

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