After recently vacationing in Florida with her family and traveling by plane to get home, Jamie Otis, who's currently pregnant, has issued an apology for flying during ongoing coronavirus pandemic, saying they didn't "realize how serious this [coronavirus] is."
On Sunday, the Married at First Sight star arrived home from a vacation with her husband Doug Hehner and their 2-year-old daughter Henley. While vacationing in Siesta Key, Florida, the expectant mom posted several photos of her family spending time together at the beach, swimming at a pool, and purchasing a second home. This was worrisome for many of her followers because not only is Otis 32 weeks pregnant, but she's also a registered nurse.
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), does not "generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the United States," the agency issued a guidance earlier this month that recommended against any "nonessential air travel" during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. According to the CDC, "crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase chances of getting COVID-19, if there are other travelers with coronavirus infection." Additionally, CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield told CNN that it's possible COVID-19 can be spread by people who are infected, but aren’t exhibiting symptoms.
On Saturday, Otis issued an apology to her followers on Instagram, acknowledging that "living as normal as possible" was putting her family and others at risk. "I wish we went home a couple weeks ago, but we didn’t realize how serious this [coronavirus] is," Otis wrote alongside a photo of her family posing on the beach. "I'm not one who can’t admit when I’m wrong. I believe that those who can recognize their faults, apologize, and take action to change are good people ... I really believed if I just kept a safe distance & sanitized myself, my family, and everything we touched we’d be fine going out & living as normal as possible."
Otis went on to say that when she and her family had gone to the beach and to the pool, they "found a spot 6ft away from the few others who were there." She also said that they had gone to the playground and thoroughly washed their hands after. "All along I was risking our family and others without even realizing it," she wrote. "I assumed this whole covid 19 thing would kinda just blow over like the seasonal flu, but it’s A LOT more serious than I ever could have imagined."
"I want to send out a sincere apology to YOU bc by me going out to 'live as normal as possible' I was risking YOU and YOUR FAMILY," she continued. "I’m a registered nurse and I should know better. I’m ashamed of myself for this and I’m genuinely sorry."
While Otis admitted she was scared to fly home, she noted they were equipped with gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer to "protect ourselves and to protect *others* from us and our silly choices." She also promised this would be her family's last venture outside their home for a "long, long time."
"No matter what we 'need' we will not be going to the grocery store or any other place for two full weeks once we get home," she concluded. "Our plan is to STAY HOME & STAY SAFE! I hope you’re staying safe, too! We will all get through this together. Sending you SO MUCH LOVE & thinking of YOU!"
Over on her Instagram Story, Otis showed her followers that she and her family had made it back home safely. “We sanitized and we showered and this house has been vacant,” she said, according to People. She later added, "We made it. Praying we don’t have the corona. My hands are so sore because we sanitized every second that we could."
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here, and Bustle’s constantly updated, general “what to know about coronavirus” here.