2020 Part Deux, Vacation Edition

My husband and I (along with family and friend) are on a cruise. It’s been much fun, and our daily update included the fact that we had no known cases of COVID-19 on board in either passengers or crew. That made sense, as we were all vaccinated and everyone tested negative to board. Yay!

Then Jon had a runny nose for a day and a half. Just a runny nose, nothing bad. But he did a COVID test and turned up positive. The cruise ship machine kicked into gear — he was the first known positive — and they escorted him out among disposable scrubs, masks, shields, and a guy following him with a Ghostbusters backpack that misted disinfectant everywhere he walked.

That was late at night, and in the morning every single crew member was tested. Two more positive cases were found, both with extremely mild symptoms.

The next day Jon’s runny nose was much reduced, and he had no fever, etc. but he was supposed to isolate for 5 days and then test negative twice to get out. We were sad to lose him, but he assured me he was okay and that I should enjoy the ports and cruise anyway.

I was a close contact, so although I tested negative, I was to be tested every day for 5 days and also to wear a mask anywhere outside of my room, and also to eat only in my room, not in any restaurants. Okay, a little restrictive but not unreasonable.

Until this morning. Then the ET scientists and the Ghostbusters backpacks came for me.

So now Jon and I are sharing a smaller room in The Red Zone where they keep the zombies. ??

Open Inside

Good news: vaccines work. If we’d been at home, we’d never have known we were “sick.” Jon’s mild cold lasted maybe two days; I sneezed a few times and have the most technical of post-nasal drips but have never even blown my nose. The vaccines and boosters worked exactly as advertised.

Bad news: None of today counts for my quarantine, even though I was tested at 8 am. That’s still “day 0” and my 5 days starts tomorrow. Jon got pulled out shortly before midnight, so he’ll get out two days before me. Yes, I’m a little salty, but mostly just about that.

I’m not mad at the cruise line. It wasn’t so long ago that ships were drifting from country to country that wouldn’t let them in, and this cruise in particular has a median age of Senior and probably a ton of existing conditions; it’s going to be a while before they relax.

It’s no one’s fault, and we’ve all known since the more transmissible variants began that it wasn’t a question of if but when, but it’s frustrating that I’m losing six days of vacation. As a friend pointed out, it’s the irony of being careful for literal years, and then in the run-up to testing for this trip, and then getting exposed (per timing) probably on the day of transition between home and a fully-tested, fully-vaxxed environment.

On the other hand, once we got more and more transmissible variants, we knew it was not a question of if but when, and again, the vaccines seem to be doing their job exactly as advertised. (Vaccines do not prevent a virus landing inside you, despite misconceptions, they prepare your body to deal with it.)

So now Jon and I are sharing a smaller room in a block of rooms set aside for quarantine (the ship was running at only one third capacity, in part to have more options to handle any illness). Our food is left outside the door and then we get a call to open the door to collect it; everything is zero-contact. This feels somewhat familiar, actually.

My regret is that I did not pack my oversized, fluffy sweatshirt because it was completely impractical for the trip, but now that I’m reliving 2020, I miss it.

Anyway, I’m beginning a partial journal of the experience.

view of Funchal from our quarantine window (at least we have a window!)

2020 day 851, Saturday

I did a 5k (really) in our room. I did it in two segments, since I didn’t want Jon to murder me on our first day together in here. The course was not the most scenic, and it was difficult to get up any real momentum with the lack of straight lines (12 steps including two minor curves and then a hard 180), but I have to compliment the density of the water stations.

The industrial carpet will just have to handle it.

Took photos of sailboat races outside while family went ashore in Funchal, Portugal.

2020 day 852, Sunday

My health has worsened; I blew my nose when I got up this morning.

Emperor Nero has charged that we arrive in Rome fit for the arena, so our keepers are very concerned. We were awakened this morning by a phone call to inquire for our breakfast order, because we had not placed one yet, and then three hours later we received another call about lunch. We managed to put off the lunch order, but I am concerned that the force feeding may begin soon.

2020 day 853, Monday

I think my illness peaked with yesterday’s nose-blowing. I did have an irritated throat this morning from post-nasal drip, but it was soothed with the frequent meals urged upon us.

We can just see a bit of Málaga if we look forward from our window. I can also hear a new neighbor coughing from the next window. I don’t think I like having a neighbor; either let me socialize, or let me isolate without worrying about someone invisible but listening.

Jon gets to test tomorrow morning. Praying for a negative so he can get out soon.

I did another 5k. Cabin 5ks are fun; it’s not in every 5k that you can say, “Almost there! Just 40 more laps!”

To be continued….

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  1. What a bummer!!

  2. So how many laps (is it laps when one is pacing?) is your 5k?

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