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Quebec couple isolated at CFB Trenton finally home after cruise ship ordeal

Ron Romanado, 66 and Karen Spoon-Goldman, 62 have finally returned home in Pointe-Claire after an 18-day ordeal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Tuesday March 24, 2020. Courtesy of: Karen Spoon-Goldman

Ron Romanado and Karen Spoon-Goldman are taking some time to enjoy the little things in life, like a cup of coffee.

Romanado, 66, and Spoon-Goldman, 62, have finally returned home in Pointe-Claire on Tuesday after an 18-day ordeal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The couple was first quarantined aboard a cruise ship held off the coast of San Francisco over coronavirus concerns for four days, then held in isolation in the air force base in Trenton, Ont., for another 14 days.

“When we left, I almost wanted to cry and I don’t know why,” said Spoon-Goldman.

READ MORE: 235 Canadians stuck on Grand Princess cruise ship over coronavirus fears

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Spoon-Goldman says all Canadians held at the base were allowed to go home, except for 14 who were confirmed to have contracted the virus.

“Up until two days ago, they were testing positive and that was pretty scary when we got the update,” the Pointe-Claire resident told Global News.

“I wasn’t afraid of getting the virus. My fear was being stuck longer than planned.”

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Spoon-Goldman says the 14-day isolation period was not easy, the people the couple became friendly with were held in separate buildings and social-distancing rules were enforced.

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How long does social distancing take to work? – Mar 24, 2020

“I had a breakdown and they sent a nurse to help me, check on me,” Spoon-Goldman said. “They were amazing.”

She says the experience made her learn how kind people can be.

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“Leaving Trenton, some of the Red Cross workers made signs saying ‘bon voyage, have a safe trip home,'” she said.

READ MORE: Quebec couple stuck on cruise praises Canadian government’s handling of situation

While the couple is not required to self-isolate at home since they have no symptoms, they say they will be practicing social-distancing, staying home as much as possible and taking every precaution.

Spoon-Goldman says she will pick up groceries her daughter bought for her from her driveway and she will stay away from her family for now.

“It’s going to be like a prison visit, we’re going to touch our fingers through the glass.”

Despite the ordeal, Romanado and Spoon-Goldman still have a series of cruises lined up for the year.

READ MORE: Officials urge Canadians to ‘avoid all cruise ship travel’ over COVID-19 risk

They praised Princess cruises for the efforts they made for them and say the experience hasn’t discouraged them from traveling. Just not for now. They will be canceling their next cruise to Alaska scheduled in June.

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–With files from Global’s Alessia Simona Maratta

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