Tess Rountree, a Paso Robles native, currently plays professional volleyball in Lima, Peru. With countries shutting down flights and limiting travel due to COVID-19, she’s found herself on lockdown in South America.
“I wasn't fast enough to get on an airplane, so I'm sitting here, waiting until the airports open,” Rountree said.
Rountree has played pro volleyball for the past 5 years in Hungary, Germany, Sweden, and the Philippines, but her current stint in Peru is likely to end early, and getting home soon may not be in the cards.
"At this point, I think the league is not going to continue, and I just want to come home. My concern is I won't be able to and I'll be here for 2 more months. That is a little stressful,” Rountree said. "It would be nice to spend some time with my family and be home.”
The day-to-day restrictions in Lima are a bit more stringent than here in the U.S.
"You can only leave to go to the pharmacy, the supermarket, and the bank. Only one person is supposed to leave your house at a time,” Rountree said. "We have a curfew here from 8pm-6am: No one can be on the street."
Rountree says she’s 95% packed and ready to go, but commercial flights haven’t been leaving Peru for over a week because they’re on lockdown: She’s hoping the flight she’s scheduled to be on will take off.
“I'm hoping to get out of here by April 1st. My biggest concern is that we will end up being here for 2 months. I don't want to come home in June. I'm just sitting here waiting,” Rountree said.
And while she’s waiting, Rountree and her roommate have tried to keep busy.
"I watch some TikTok. My roommate and I have cooked more in the last 10 days than we probably have in the last 2 months. We've been doing some workouts. I started running the stairs in my building. Today, we took a walk through the parking garage in the basement to entertain ourselves and to stretch our legs," Rountree said with a laugh.