PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In her ongoing series, “Checking in with Susan Koeppen,” Susan Koeppen talks to Lincoln Harris, a wildlife photographer.
Harris was in Africa when he learned businesses started shutting down in the U.S. and travel into the United States was being restricted because of the coronavirus pandemic.READ MORE: Child Tax Credit: When Will Parents Get Their First Monthly Check?
He contacted the U.S. Embassy and was told, “You should probably get home, so that began the process of how to make that happen,” says Harris.
It took five days for Harris to get his travel arrangements together to get back to the United States.
He was in the middle of the desert in Namibia so it was not an easy process.
He flew to South Africa, where he and other passengers on his flight were taken out of line by a customs agent.
“He instructs us to follow him and we were lead back, past the COVID screening, and into a dingy hallway into the bowels of the Johannesburg Airport. And he says give me your passports,” says Harris.
At this point, Harris says he rallied the other passengers to protest and refuse to give up their passports. They did.
Eventually, the officials at the airport allowed the passengers back into the airport and to catch flights out of the country.READ MORE: Severe Weather Limited In Pittsburgh So Far This Spring
Harris flew into Atlanta and was shocked to see one of the busiest airports in the United States deserted.
“It was stunning to see how empty and quiet it was,” says Harris.
The photographer says he was also surprised that there was no coronavirus screening in Atlanta, and he was able to continue flying without being checked upon entering the United States.
He made it home to his house in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where he went into self-quarantine.
He is now out of quarantine and symptom-free.
He remains inside at his house under stay-at-home orders, but he will return to traveling the world for his photography.
“This is not going to stop me from traveling. This is not going to stop me from going to foreign places. This is just a pause that we all need to take,” Harris said.MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Mayoral Candidates Bill Peduto, Ed Gainey Go To The Polls For Primary Election
To see his photography, click here.