Stranded in Paradise: N.H. Retiree Rides Out Pandemic In New Zealand

” They take the virus very seriously here,” Clapp stated.

Carol Clapp

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” Ive had quite a year here,” stated Clapp, 73, over a Zoom call from the deck of her house in the little town of Riverton, as the birds in the eucalyptus trees chirped.

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Clapp often visits a regional racetrack. She has been out and about in the past year and states barely anybody in New Zealand uses masks.

Now that New Zealand has stopped extending traveler visas, Clapp is planning to go back to New Hampshire and has a vaccine consultation arranged in April.

And this fall, if whatever goes according to strategy, shell head back to New Zealand to see Al
.

Carol Clapp, a 73-year-old widow from Epping, N.H., and her new sweetheart, Al, on a beach in New Zealand.

After Davids death, Clapp continued making the 30-hour trip each year, leaving Epping in October, and getting a return ticket each April.

Carol Clapp

Clapp, a widow, first checked out New Zealand with her late hubby David in 1978. When their boy later on decided to go to college there, they purchased a house.

Every October when the weather turns cold, Carol Clapp leaves her household farm in Epping, N.H., and travels halfway worldwide to spend the next six months in New Zealand.

Carol Clapp

Carol Clapp

Carol Clapp

Carol Clapp

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When the virus hit, the island country closed its borders and mainly marked out COVID-19 within a few months.

Carol Clapp, a 73-year-old widow from Epping, N.H., and her brand-new sweetie, Al, on a beach in New Zealand.

” I got a partner out of the lockdown!” she says. “Al is my new man, and he just takes truly good care of me.”

” They were really worried, and typically grateful to be here and really concerned that the United States had such a weak action to the COVID circumstance that got so out of control, which the country is so divided,” stated Clapp about her regional friends. “They simply hope the United States makes it through this.”

To date the country of 5 million people has only had 26 deaths.

Shes been taking art classes, gardening, and every now and then heading to the race track. She states barely anybody wears masks. And she has a new partner, Al, whom she met one night at a bar in the neighboring city of Invercargill.

Shes been taking art classes, gardening, and every once in a while heading to the race track. She states hardly anybody uses masks. And she has a brand-new partner, Al, whom she fulfilled one night at a bar in the close-by city of Invercargill.

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New Zealand let stranded tourists extend their visas, so Clapp got a six-month extension, and after that another extension. It allowed her to ride out the pandemic in a nation where she says individuals are “well behaved” and followed stringent public health standards.

So when COVID-19 blew up internationally last March, the long-distance snowbird ended up being stranded in a paradise of sorts.

Carol Clapp

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Clapp frequents a regional racetrack. She has actually been out and about in the past year and says hardly anyone in New Zealand uses masks.

Carol Clapp

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“Al is my brand-new guy, and he just takes really great care of me.”

Still, the pandemic is a regular subject of discussion among Clapp and her New Zealand friends. Particularly, they ask her: whats gone so wrong in the U.S.?

With New Zealand now finally ending its visa extensions, Clapp is preparing to go back to New Hampshire. Shes already scheduled for a vaccination in April in the Granite State.