Northeast Ohio couple stays positive aboard quarantined cruise ship

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– A local great-grandmother is speaking exclusively to the FOX 8 I-Team with a survivor’s story from the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship quarantined off the coast of Japan with dozens and dozens of passengers sick from the deadly coronavirus.

We reported last week a woman and her husband from Northeast Ohio are on board that ship. They do not want to be identified, but we made contact by phone.

We asked the woman about the great unknown in all of this, wondering if she’s constantly worried about how she might feel tomorrow?

“You know, I don’t worry about that because I know I feel great today. I’m alive. I’m not on that ambulance going to a hospital,” she said. “If I want to get upset, it’s just gonna make me sick, so I don’t want to get upset.”

Initially, dozens of passengers tested positive for coronavirus. Then, over the weekend, dozens more did, too.

We’re told a new ship rule requires passengers to wear a mask every time they open their doors to their rooms, get meals delivered or a visit from maintenance. If they simply try leaving their rooms to take a walk down the hall without permission, they won’t get far. We’re told someone is watching and quick to ask if they need help.

Last week, the daughter of the local couple shared her worry. But the passengers point out they’re getting good food, the internet, TV, puzzles and more.

“Keep washing your hands. Stay in your room. We go on deck for half an hour and do a little walk. And we sleep a lot,” the local great-grandmother said.

She said the one thing keeping her going is this: “Whatever happens, that’s what the Lord had planned for you. Whether you’re a Christian or not. It’s just the way it is… Trying to be happy.”

Princess Cruises said the quarantine could go on until around Feb. 19. Meantime, the cruise line has offered to pay for this cruise for all passengers, their trips home and a future cruise for everyone. While those local passengers are eager to get home, they also give credit to the cruise line for its handling of a difficult situation.

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