South Philly couple stranded in Peru during coronavirus travel shutdown waiting to be able to return

Charlotte Reese
March 22, 2020 - 9:52 am

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — While the federal government is working to bring Americans home who are in countries that have shut their borders amid the coronavirus pandemic, a South Philadelphia couple is currently stuck in Peru.

Rich Levering and his wife, Sara Schuenemann, were on their way to Argentina to celebrate Schuenemann's mother's 80th birthday, when the borders to Lima, Peru were closed.

"It's been really just exhausting," said Levering, who spoke to NBC 10 about what life has been like stranded in Peru, along with their dog.

The South Philly couple joined other Americans who are reportedly stranded abroad, in Morocco and Ecuador. Levering said they have tried to contact American officials but will just have to wait for a response.

"There's been no communicating, there’s been no hub or someone working in the comms to communicate to the people here," vented Levering.

Scheunemann added, "We’ve signed up on all the lists." 

The couple reported being able to see police and military personnel on every corner visible from their hotel window.

The two of them are especially worried about what happens if the shutdown outlasts their reservation. 

"Don’t know if ... the quarantine isn’t lifted by the time our hotel reservation ends in ten days, if we’re still here, if we’ll have a place to stay," said Scheunemann, "and that’s a really scary potential outcome."

A state department official said the U.S. is considering all options to assist American citizens stuck in countries where air travel has been suspended.