December 30, 2021
A schoolteacher from Michigan recently went to great lengths to keep from spreading COVID-19 — voluntarily spending four hours cramped inside an airplane bathroom after testing positive for the pathogen on her way to Iceland.
Marisa Fotieo said she was halfway through her Icelandair flight from Chicago to Reykjavik last week when she felt her throat start to hurt. So she pulled out a rapid testing kit that she had brought from home and diagnosed herself.
“I just took my rapid test and I brought it into the bathroom, and within what felt like two seconds there were two lines (indicating a positive test),” Fotieo told “Today” after a post on TikTok documenting the experience went viral.
The video, which has been viewed more than 3 million times, shows the vaccinated schoolteacher hunkered down in the tiny airplane bathroom while traveling 30,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean.
“There [were] 150 people on the flight, and my biggest fear was giving it to them,” she told “Today.”
In her TikTok post’s caption, Fotieo jokingly wrote, “Shout out to @Icelandair for my VIP quarantine quarters,” with hashtags #luxuryliving and #imsolucky.
Thankfully, the teacher said a kind flight attendant named Ragnhildur “Rocky” Eiríksdóttir provided her with care during the flight, bringing her snacks and beverages and periodically checking in on her to make sure she was alright.
That same flight attendant even sent gifts to Fotieo upon her arrival in Reykjavik, where Fotieo checked into a Red Cross hotel to continue her quarantine.
“She bought me flowers and a little Christmas tree with lights so I could hang it,” she recalled. “It was so heartfelt, and she’s just an angel.”
Fotieo was reportedly traveling with relatives over Christmas break when her trip was drastically altered.
Her rearranged travel plans came as the rise of the Omicron variant created chaos for travelers across the globe. As more and more airline workers tested positive for the virus over the holidays, major airlines in the U.S. and elsewhere abruptly canceled thousands of flights.