American model Amanda Lauren is a globetrotter and has visited 45 countries.
The influencer, who has modelled for Playboy, now lives in London and was recently on a trip that soon turned into a nightmare.
Amanda had a trip booked to the Philippines while the UK was still considering going into lockdown.
A few days before setting off, she experienced body aches and general weakness. Worried it might be the novel coronavirus, Amanda called 111.
‘They said my symptoms weren’t in line for coronavirus and that I didn’t qualify for a test,’ Amanda tells Metro.co.uk.
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‘So the next day I boarded my 13-hour flight to Manilla. Two days into my trip, my body aches were worse and I woke up with nasal congestion and lost my sense of taste.’
Amanda had been staying at a five-star hotel that had a resident doctor, who recommended that she get tested.
But after the conversation, she says, hotel staff kicked Amanda out in fear of spreading the virus.
’30 minutes later, I was told to pack my bags and leave the hotel,’ she says.
‘A white truck was waiting outside the basement of the hotel. I was forced to leave with my heavy bags and was dropped off at a local emergency room.’
The process of getting tested was no easy feat.
Amanda explains: ‘I had to sit outside in a tent for nine hours because the hospital had run out of swabs.
‘The temperature was humid and 32 degrees celsius. I only had access to a porta-potty, water, and hand sanitiser for the nine hours I was outside waiting.
‘No food, masks, or gloves were provided and I was surrounded by other potentially infected coronavirus patients.
‘Finally at 1am I was tested.’
While she waited for the results, Amanda booked another hotel but when she went to check in, her reservation was canceled.
‘I found out in the early hours of the morning after not eating all day and walking for over an hour to the hotel with my heavy bags (there were no taxis available) that the hotel had canceled my reservation and not told me,’ Amanda tells us.
‘I called the first hotel I stayed at and they said because I had got tested for coronavirus they would not take me back to their hotel.
‘I tried calling the embassy but it was shut. I managed to get through to the embassy in the UK and they told me that the whole world is changing by the minute and they are getting calls from everyone.
‘I was left to survive by myself.’
By then, it was well into the early hours as Amanda wandered the streets alone with all her bags.
Eventually, another hotel was able to take her in.
‘They checked my temperature at the door and I was given the all-clear,’ she says.
The hospital called Amanda and told her to self-isolate for the next two weeks but Amanda was warned by her new hotel that all foreigners needed to check out within 72 hours as all the hotels were closing.
Without anywhere to go, Amanda was able to fly to Bangkok and from there back to London.
She adds: ‘The results took over 10 days to come back and confirmed I had tested positive for coronavirus. By this time I was back in London.’
Amanda has since recovered and is now isolating in her home in London.
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