Advertisement

‘We do get fresh air’: Edmonton couple trapped on ship quarantined over coronavirus

Alberta couple under coronavirus quarantine on cruise ship
WATCH ABOVE: An Alberta husband and wife say they are staying optimistic as they endure a 14-day coronavirus quarantine aboard a cruise ship. Julia Wong reports.

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.

Hundreds of Canadians under quarantine on cruise ships
Hundreds of Canadians under quarantine on cruise ships

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.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: 5 Canadians among 41 new cases of coronavirus on cruise ship docked in Japan

“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.

A view of the bedroom in Jenny and Mark Rodrigue's room on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
A view of the bedroom in Jenny and Mark Rodrigue's room on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Courtesy/Jenny and Mark Rodrigue
A view of the sitting room in Jenny and Mark Rodrigue's room on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
A view of the sitting room in Jenny and Mark Rodrigue's room on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Courtesy/Jenny and Mark Rodrigue
A view from the balcony of Jenny and Mark Rodrigue's room on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
A view from the balcony of Jenny and Mark Rodrigue's room on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Courtesy/Jenny and Mark Rodrigue

“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.

Story continues below advertisement

“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.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

READ MORE: Coronavirus: 251 Canadians among thousands quarantined on Japanese cruise ship

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.

Jenny Rodrigue is passing the time in quarantine by drawing the destinations she and her husband Mark visited on the cruise.
Jenny Rodrigue is passing the time in quarantine by drawing the destinations she and her husband Mark visited on the cruise. Courtesy/Jenny Rodrigue
Jenny Rodrigue is passing the time in quarantine by drawing the destinations she and her husband Mark visited on the cruise.
Jenny Rodrigue is passing the time in quarantine by drawing the destinations she and her husband Mark visited on the cruise. Courtesy/Jenny Rodrigue
Jenny Rodrigue is passing the time in quarantine by drawing the destinations she and her husband Mark visited on the cruise.
Jenny Rodrigue is passing the time in quarantine by drawing the destinations she and her husband Mark visited on the cruise. Courtesy/Jenny Rodrigue
Jenny Rodrigue is passing the time in quarantine by drawing the destinations she and her husband Mark visited on the cruise.
Jenny Rodrigue is passing the time in quarantine by drawing the destinations she and her husband Mark visited on the cruise. Courtesy/Jenny Rodrigue

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.

Story continues below advertisement

“The common flu has killed way more people per year, or in the last month, than coronavirus has,” Mark said.

READ MORE: World facing ‘chronic shortage’ of masks, gloves amid coronavirus fears, says WHO

“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.

Coronavirus outbreak: 12 cases confirmed inside the United States
Coronavirus outbreak: 12 cases confirmed inside the United States

The couple said they appreciate the messages from their friends and family, and they expect to cope well in tight quarters.

Story continues below advertisement

“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.

Coronavirus outbreak: WHO official slams misinformation as ‘committed act’
Coronavirus outbreak: WHO official slams misinformation as ‘committed act’

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 Press