Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Diamond Princess passengers show what a 28 day coronavirus quarantine was like

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-Well, it's a windy morning

in a place called Vacaville, California,

home to Travis Air Force Base, and we are waiting for something

I'm still not completely certain will happen,

and that is Spencer's release from quarantine.

Second quarantine.

-At the Japanese port of Yokohama, 3,711 people,

including 428 Americans,

are quarantined on the Diamond Princess.

-The alert was raised when an 80-year-old from Hong Kong

tested positive for the virus.

-Onboard the Diamond Princess,

health officials cautiously removed another 41 people.

-The outbreak aboard a cruise ship in Japan is getting worse,

with more than 130 cases confirmed.

-New numbers coming in.

This cruise ship now has the highest concentration

of confirmed cases of the virus outside of China.

-The roller coaster between the start of that and today

has been dramatic, of course,

and so I'm unusually nervous right now

because I'm just [tearfully]

really been looking forward to seein' him.


-Hello, everyone.

I'm coming to you from Yokohama, Japan,

onboard the Diamond Princess.

I'm here with three of my friends,

all of whom are getting our master's degrees

in Northern China.

The thing that I was most excited about, about the cruise,

was just to have time to do nothing.

Which is a little ironic, considering I've now spent

almost a month in quarantine.

-On the 2nd of February, it was around 6:00 or 7:00

and then, they came over the intercom and said,

"Hey, just so you know,

there was a guy who got off at Hong Kong

who's been confirmed positive for the coronavirus.

Stay tuned for updates".

On the 5th, they came and said,

"Hey, you had 10 cases that were positive.

You're under a 14-day quarantine".

That was early in the morning.

-I know this is not ideal, however, I know that,

once again, I can count on your understanding

and support to make this journey onboard

as smooth and comfortable as possible for everyone.

-I think, initially, I thought that 14-day quarantine meant,

"Okay, we're gonna be stuck on the boat for 14 days,"

but that we could like move around freely on the boat.

And it came out that we were going to be stuck in our rooms.


-For 14 days and that was a whole nother story.

We had a complete lack of control over the situation.

There's nothing we could do and there was no one we could call

that would be able to give us information.

-Further to my previous announcement,

we have now been advised that the number of cases

has reduced from 66 to 65, of which five were crew members.

We are currently in the process of disembarking these guests

and crew to medical facilities ashore.

-Do you know the story about the beard thing?

Like I don't have a beard. I never have had a beard.

But the moment Spencer told me, in Yokohama,

that they were going to be quarantined for 14 days,

he told me that and I said,

"Okay, here's what we're gonna do.

Your brother and your brother-in-law and me,

we're not gonna shave until you come back home to Canada".

And, of course, right after that, I thought,

"Oh, I shouldn't have said that" [chuckle].

But then, you can't take that back.

So, we've had this solidarity thing goin' on

for a couple weeks, then another couple weeks, so.

I'll be happy to shave this with Spencer very soon.

-I'm making this video just as a way of saying hi,

saying, you know, I love you to my family and friends.

The first half of my quarantine on the ship,

I was very much a champion for this quarantine being a success.

I was a champion for the Japanese health authorities,

for Princess Cruises, and so,

when I received this letter from the CDC,

said "Stay in your room.

Everything will be fine," I believed it.

And so, day 9 rolls around.

There's no mention of new passengers testing positive.

We just got our first update for the morning from the captain

about an hour ago

and he did not say anything about new cases being reported,

so, that's great news.

Same thing on day 10.

One step closer to, hopefully, being able to disembark early.

But the point in time that I realized just how off I was,

how wrong I was, was actually about 15 seconds

before a live televised interview.

-Sixty-seven new people have tested positive

for the coronavirus on the Diamond Princess.

-Did you just say that there are 67 new cases?

Is that what I heard?

-That's what we're reporting on CBC this morning, yes, sir.

-Okay, uh, I have not even been made aware of that.

Two hundred eighty-five, that's the number.

And it was in that moment and then, after the interview,

as I was able to process it, that I realized

Diamond Princess, or Princess Cruises,

rather, had changed their strategy.

-We want to be as transparent as possible,

so we're sharing what we know at this time

for both our guests and our team.

-Trying to avoid creating a panic

and actually hiding that information from us.

I've spent all day today

and yesterday thinking that there were no new cases.

Just thinking out loud, right now,

I'm wondering if this quarantine is actually working on the ship.

I personally felt betrayed in that moment.

There's no doubt about it.

-You didn't need [indistinct] tell you how many are sick.

You can just count the ambulances.

I'd go out and count 20 ambulances, 30 ambulances.

-These numbers are going very much in the wrong direction.

-In the early days of the quarantine on the ship,

we kept saying, "We're not safe here.

Something is wrong".

I sent a Facebook message to a friend of mine,

a major news producer in New York,

and said, "Guess where we are".

-I started a Reddit post which gained

a huge following and then,

last week, had a huge following in the media with that.

-And then, just a lot of interviews, really.

-Yeah, a lot.

-Have time to advocate for our situation

and for everybody else.

-We stayed really busy on the cruise ship,

doing media and telling the story, as we saw it.

We're healthy.

We wanna go home now, safely.

-The whole thing is here we are, quarantined,

healthy people and sick people in the same location.

I think that whole idea,

that that's how you're supposed to do quarantine, is crazy.

-Hundreds of Americans who have been quarantined

for two weeks aboard a cruise ship

because of coronavirus are ready to head home.

A convoy of buses

took passengers from the Diamond Princess

to chartered flights that will take them back to the US.

-So, when we learned, from the US embassy,

that he was going to be evacuated

and he'd finally get off that ship, I told Spencer,

"We can't have a toast, but let's have a toast over

WeChat, so, that's what we did.

That was my place in Vancouver.

-I can't tell you how nice it was when the task force

arrived to see people from the US.

And like the doctor standing. -Alabama.

-Yeah, the doctor standing outside the tunnel.

They had like a big, giant blue tunnel

basically going out of the boat,

the doctor standing outside the tunnel kind of directing us

to where we were supposed to go was from Alabama,

so it was kinda nice to hear some Southern accents.

-We just spent the last six hours on a bus.

This should've only taken 20 minutes.

You can see there's a 747 behind me.

I'm hopin' to get on it and hopin' to be in good old US of

A here in about 13, 12, 13 hours.

-So can you imagine this guy saying, "Be calm.

Everything's fine. Don't worry about it.

You're safe.

But I'm just gonna [laughing] wear this outfit.

You know, nothin' to see here".

It's surreal.

There he is.

Mr Spencer. -Hey, there.

-Hey. Are you on the way?

-No, no, not yet. -Of course.

-The buses all just pulled up, though.

We've just been standing in line for the last 45 minutes,

but, three big buses just pulled up,

so, I'm guessing these are all going to the different airports

and we're gonna get in the van after everybody

gets on the buses.

But, along with all the buses,

a bunch of like marshals in like Suburbans

and Tahoes just pulled off, and a bunch of police cars.

So it's on its way. It's gonna start happening.

I'm about 10 feet, 15 feet away from the quarantine tent,

so, I'll send you a text when I officially get out

and then, I'll give you a call when I'm on the way.

-"I'm on the bus.

Haven't started moving yet, but hopefully soon".

That was as of two minutes ago.

And, just like in Yokohama, hopefully,

it's not a five-hour wait again.

-The flights were not supposed to include any passengers

affected by the coronavirus.

-Fourteen of those Americans tested positive for the virus.

-We actually didn't know about the 14 passengers

until we landed in Texas.

No one was told until we landed.

-All we do is we're sitting on the buses

for hours and hours and hours in the rain.

On the tarmac, the planes are ahead of us

and we don't know why we're stuck there.

-State Department had knowingly put 14 people on those planes

that had already tested positive.

You know, going back to the moment that I found out

that Princess Cruises was keeping information from me,

it was the exact same feeling, realizing that

the State Department kept that information from,

not only myself, but every other passenger on that plane.

-But what kinda concerned us the most is that

we weren't really given an option.

It was, "Hey, if you don't get on this plane,

you don't come back until 'a period of time'".

And, you know, now that we're here,

on hindsight on everything,

we're really glad that we came, like really, really glad.

-When I first got to this hotel room, motel room,

it was hot.

There was a leak in the bathroom.

The floor was slick.

I slipped on it.

And, after that long flight and everything we've been through,

I just lost it.

I had a tantrum worthy of one of my two-year-old grandchildren

and said, "I am not staying here!

Get me out of here"!

-I know you have to go up pretty high.


-You can tell when you're there, when it comes out my ear.

-We adapted.

We've adapted to the routine, to the rules.

-They really run a very, very strict quarantine here.

They know what they're doing.

Things could be a whole lot worse.

-There are so many little things that you take for granted,

like the fact that you can just walk out your door

and go somewhere that you wanna go.

And you realize that whenever you're stuck in a room

for almost two months, or however long it's gonna.

-Twenty-four days, yeah. -Yeah.

-We're ready to get out.

-The policies done on the Diamond Princess proved wrong.

We can't that happen again.

And the psychological impact has to be taken

into consideration as much as the sickness.

And so, you know, it is different than the flu.

It's so contagious.

We don't even know how it spreads yet.

Seven hundred and 11 people on that ship got sick

and they just let it continue and continue and continue.

It's like walking through a landmine field

and just hoping you don't step on a landmine,

so, yeah, it was very different than the flu, to say the least.

-I was speaking with my sister, maybe three or four days ago,

and she said,

"Spencer, when was the last time you were given a hug?

When was the last time someone hugged you"?

It just made me realize how much value there

is in having that close contact with the ones that you love,

how much value that brings to my life.

-Oh, he says, "We're here". Okay.

-We are pulling in right now. -Okay.

That is unbelievable. Where you at?

'Cause we're here, too, but, obviously, not where you are.

He says he's by a Walmart and Columbia Sportswear

or somethin'.

So, let's go.

Let's roll.

There it is, right there [laughs].

-Whoo! -Oh, yeah!

-What an entrance. -Oh, really!

-That is awesome! -Oh, man!

So good to see you. -Oh, jeez!

Is that you? -It's me.

-Is that you? Oh, my gosh.

-I'm a freakin' old man here.

What the heck? -That is thick!

I was not ready for that. -Ohhh, man!


To be able to give my dad a hug when he got out of the car was.

I didn't wanna let go. -[Chuckle].

-I know, right? -Crap.

We're gonna have a toast, soon.

-We're gonna have a toast, soon.

The Description of Diamond Princess passengers show what a 28 day coronavirus quarantine was like