Author: Flying Halfway Around the World Was 'Stupid'

Neil Gaiman says travel advisories had him 'panicked'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2020 1:00 PM CDT
Author: Flying Halfway Around the World Was 'Stupid'
Neil Gaiman attends the premiere of Amazon Prime Video's "Good Omens" at the Whitby Hotel in New York on May 23, 2019.   (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

Neil Gaiman has apologized for his "stupid" decision to fly halfway around the world amid a pandemic. In a Thursday blog post, the English-born author wrote that he flew three weeks ago from New Zealand—where his wife and son remain—to London, then drove to his writing retreat on Scotland's Isle of Skye, per the BBC. "I needed to be somewhere I could talk to people in the UK while they and I were awake," he wrote, adding that five families were staying at his home in Woodstock, NY. That wasn't a good enough reason for Scottish National Party leader Ian Blackford, an MP for Skye. "To come from the other end of the planet is gobsmacking," he said, per the Ross-shire Journal. "We will welcome all to the Highlands when it is safe to do so. For now stay away."

In a Monday blog post, Gaiman wrote that he'd been visited by local police, "who said all things considered I should have stayed where I was safe in New Zealand, and I agreed that yes, all things considered, I should." While the Good Omens author acknowledged that the 11,000-mile trip to "the place I love most in the world" was "stupid," he said he'd "panicked" upon reading that the UK government was advising travelers to return from abroad. "I waited until New Zealand was done with its strict lockdown, and took the first flight out," he wrote, noting "the flights and airports were socially distanced, and, for the most part, deserted." He said he'd been in isolation ever since reaching Skye. Still, it was "the most foolish thing I've done in quite a while," he wrote. "Don't do what I did." (Earlier this month, Gaiman blamed a hacker for a public diss of his wife.)

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