Shortly before finally leaving the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess in Japan, a Syracuse woman described the departure from the cruise ship as a “bittersweet” moment because they have to endure yet another quarantine in the US.
“I just got to remember this moment with my husband lying beside me in bed,” Cheryl Molesky says slowly in her video blog as she pans her camera at her groggy hubby, Paul, in the cramped cabin of the liner in Yokohama’s port.
Her last installment captured the scene outside, including a fleet of medical vehicles and several people clad in protective suits near a bus connected to the ship via a blue containment tunnel.
The ship, carrying 3,700 passengers, held by far the largest cluster of coronavirus cases outside China with around 400 people testing positive.
Noting that they had not yet received the results of their tests, Cheryl haltingly says their impending evacuation was “a bittersweet, mostly sweet moment.”
“On one hand, we’re going home. On the other hand, we won’t see our family or our friends for two weeks because we will be in quarantine again,” she says, as Paul chimes in with “again.”
The couple will have to be confined again at a US military facility to make sure they don’t have the deadly virus, which as of Monday has killed more than 1,700 people and infected more than 71,000 others globally.
They were among some 380 Americans on the Diamond Princess, including 14 who found out they had tested positive for the virus as they prepared to board two chartered Boeing 747s for the trip back to the US.
“These individuals were moved in the most expeditious and safe manner to a specialized containment area on the evacuation aircraft to isolate them in accordance with standard protocols,” the US State Department said in a statement.
“During the flights, these individuals will continue to be isolated from the other passengers.”
On Monday, one flight arrived at the Travis Air Force Base in California and the other at the Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.
“Well, we’re exhausted, but we’re on the plane and that’s a good feeling. Pretty miserable wearing these masks though, and everybody had to go to the bathroom on the bus,” Cheryl told The Associated Press.
All of the passengers will have to go through another 14 days of quarantine — meaning they will have been under confinement for a total of nearly a month.
“We are glad to be going home,” Cheryl told Japan’s NHK TV earlier. “It’s just a little bit disappointing that we’ll have to go through quarantine again, and we will probably not be as comfortable as the Diamond Princess, possibly.”
She added that she had been concerned about the rising number of infected people on the ship.
“It’s a little bit scary with the numbers going up of the people being taken off the ship for the (virus), so I think it’s time to go. I think it’s time to cut our losses and take off,” she said.
On Sunday, Japanese officials announced 70 new infections on the Diamond Princess, raising the total number of cases on board to 355.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday that 40 Americans have been infected.
“If people on the plane start to develop symptoms, they’ll be segregated within the plane,” he said.
Before the arrival of the infected passengers from the Diamond Princess, US authorities had reported 15 cases in seven states, most of them people who had returned from China.
Asked how they felt about the additional stint under quarantine in the US, Cheryl sighed and Paul said: “If we have to go through that, we will go through that.”
With Post wires
Source: Read Full Article