MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - A Myrtle Beach couple living abroad in Spain are quarantined inside their apartment amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Like many young couples, Catherine and Bailey Paske say they wanted an adventure before they had to settle down.
They both grew up in Myrtle Beach, each graduating from the Academy of Arts, Science, and Technology before going on to Anderson University for teaching degrees. They say in the future, they hope to teach in Horry County.
But in the meantime, the Paskes figured Spain would be the perfect place to live and teach abroad. Then, the number of coronavirus cases in the country started to increase.
“Every night at 8 p.m. our time, you open the window and you hear like you’re in a sports arena. Clapping all around you. And they’re clapping for the healthcare professionals who are just working day in and day out with all the new cases," Bailey Paske said.
The Paskes say the past few weeks living in Madrid during the coronavirus outbreak was not at all what they expected when they set out to teach children abroad.
“The last time we were outside was just an eerie - where is everyone?" Catherine Paske said.
The couple says they usually see a bustling plaza from their apartment balcony.
“The first weekend when the quarantine was starting to set in there was nobody outside. Friday night, Saturday night, absolutely no one, and we were like wow okay,” Catherine said.
From their balcony, the Paskes say they see police question anyone who is outside during the nationwide lockdown.
“I think the reason Madrid and Spain are doing so well with this quarantine is that we have consequences. So we can’t leave our house other than groceries, which is just going downstairs, or the pharmacy or the hospital," Catherine said.
The couple also says grocery stores are only allowing one member from a household to shop. If there’s more than a few people shopping at once, they’ll have you wait outside since the stores in Spain are so small. The Paskes noted that many are the size of convenience stores in the United States.
They say they want their friends and family back home to know what to be prepared for.
“You guys, this is your future. Please start taking it seriously now. You can’t just keep going out with your friends, you can’t just keep doing everything you want to do just six feet away like that doesn’t prevent it," Catherine said.
But their future in Spain isn't so certain.
“We’ve actually made the very difficult decision last night that we are going to move home to the U.S. this week. Like I said before, we feel much safer in Spain and going through the airport and the airplanes really gives me anxiety. But in case anything happens to us - the travel ban - we don’t want to be blocked from being with family,” Catherine said.
The Paskes say they promise to quarantine for two full weeks when they return home.