The winner of this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, a storied event in Alaska, is hoping to finally fly home to Norway after coronavirus restrictions and flight cancellations left him stuck for months, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
Thomas Waerner and his 16 dogs prevailed in the race mid-March in the town of Nome, Ala, as the coronavirus was spreading throughout the United States. Waerner hasn’t been able to return to his family, stranded like so many travelers by the pandemic.
Airlines have had to adjust to precipitous declines in demand, and borders around the world have shut. On Sunday President Trump announced new impending virus-driven travel restrictions on many foreign nationals who have recently been in Brazil.
Waerner is eager to get back to his wife and five children, having missed his now-10-year’s birthday, according to the Daily News. Now he may get his chance on an old aircraft expected to leave Fairbanks next month for an aviation museum in Norway.
“My wife has been taking care of 35 dogs, the kids, and working as a veterinarian,” he added. And so, when he returns to Norway, “‘yes, dear,’ will be the answer for everything.”