A travel vlogger’s quarantine on a faraway remote island of Socotra in Yemen, 3,625 square kilometers desert paradise 60 miles east of the Horn of Africa, has startled the Instagram community. The 29-year-old, an adventure YouTuber and travel documentary host from Poland posted on Instagram that she is spending her days on the deserted white-sand beaches waiting for the coronavirus pandemic to end.
According to reports, Zu Beck, along with 40 other international tourists, arrived at the island couple of months ago to take part in Socotra's first-ever marathon event. However, she was forced to stay for two weeks as the air travel suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic in Europe. On March 15, after she and the other participants finished the race, Socotra officials declared that the island was closing its borders. Therefore, Zu had to make a choice after the authorities asked the participants to head to the airport, as she chose to stay back, although now, she isn’t sure until when international media reported.
Zu Beck's Canadian boyfriend reportedly returned to Cairo on the last flight out of Socotra. With the last flight departed and with no signs of borders reopening, Zu Beck remained on the Island and started contributing to resident’s day-to-day activities, as per media reports. Renting basic guest rooms from the local goat-herder families in Socotra's less populated rural villages, Zu only returned to the capital, Hadibu, for WiFi. There's a code of hospitality in Socotra called Karam, Zu was quoted saying by a leading international media outlet. It dictates that guests should be welcomed unconditionally, so traditional hosts are very reluctant to take money from guests, she said, adding, she insisted hosts accept $150-200 per month.
As per media reports, the island has reported zero cases of the novel coronavirus and there are no social distancing or lockdown measures in Socotra. People are also allowed to meet with other people, family, and friends. Socotra's public transport commuted from Al Mukalla in mainland Yemen to the island's southern region, which are mostly sparsely populated areas. Speaking to a news outlet, Zu called the region a “parallel universe”.