An Edmonton couple say they are staying positive despite being quarantined on a cruise ship off the coast of Japan after dozens of cases of coronavirus were discovered aboard.
Jenny and Mark Rodrigue left Yokohama, Japan on Jan. 20 for what was supposed to be a 14-day cruise that took them to Hong Kong, Vietnam and Taiwan.
They were originally supposed to disembark the Diamond Princess cruise ship on Feb. 4, but were quarantined after a passenger tested positive for the coronavirus. Since then, 61 other passengers have confirmed cases of the virus.
“Those people who were diagnosed with the virus are ashore now,” Jenny said.
“I feel a little better. I’m very optimistic. I feel that the Japanese authorities and the ship’s crew and captain are handling this very well and in a timely manner.”
The couple, who is confined to their room, said they are fortunate to have a bigger cabin with a balcony, which has a view of the water.
“We do get fresh air. Our cabin is about 400 plus square feet so basically we have two rooms. We have a bedroom and we have a sitting room. Off the sitting room, we have the balcony, which is small but it’s enough. It’s fine,” Jenny said.
“At least we got room. I’m just pacing up and down in the room but I can get my steps in at least,” Mark said.
The couple is doing lots of different things to pass the time, such as exercising, watching TV and Facetiming with friends and family. Jenny is also staying busy by drawing.
“Before we boarded, I had gathered my supplies and had got my pencil crayons, watercolour pencil crayons, when we were in Japan four days prior to the cruise. I had also got some pastel pencils so I’ve been using those. It helps pass the time. It’s a nice memory to have,” she said, adding she is drawing the destinations the couple visited on the cruise.
The pair said the crew have been helpful, giving them disinfectant wipes as well as refilling their prescriptions. Neither are concerned about catching the coronavirus.
“The common flu has killed way more people per year, or in the last month, than coronavirus has,” Mark said.
“Cautiously optimistic,” said Jenny when asked about her concern.
The couple also said the quarantine has not put a damper on their trip.
“We still have those memories from our trip. We like to take the positive approach. They’ve been very good to us. We have no complaints with the Princess line,” Jenny said.
“It’s just the way the world turns. These viruses show up and you just deal with it and go from there,” Mark said.
The couple said they appreciate the messages from their friends and family, and they expect to cope well in tight quarters.
“We’ve been married for 35 years. Both [of us] are retired so we know each other well. We know our habits and we’re fine,” Jenny said.
Princess Cruises said the quarantine is expected to be lifted on Feb. 19, unless there are any other unforeseen developments.
The viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 31,400 people globally.
China has seen 636 deaths and 31,161 confirmed cases on the mainland. In addition, Hong Kong has had 22 cases, including one death. Macao has had 10 cases. Most of the deaths have been in central Hubei province, where illnesses from the new type of coronavirus were first detected in December.
-with files from the Canadian Press, Associated PressView link »