For my whole life, maybe because of science fiction movies or because I’m from the generation who got under their desks at school to be ‘protected’ from an atomic bomb, I assumed that the world would end in a bright white flash. That’s if you were lucky. If you weren’t so lucky, you’d spend your final days roaming a post apocalyptic landscape with no food or drinkable water until you dwindled away. 

Now, it appears as though the world will end with a whisper. With everyone hiding in their homes, counting their rolls of toilet paper, afraid to go outside, fearing a microscopic, invisible killer. No, I don’t think that this CORVID-19 is the end of the world…. Not this time.

However, I can certainly imagine a future virus that kills more quickly being the end of humans. Even if the extraordinary measures in place now were to remain in place, people have a need. A real core need to interact with one another. Just being in the house for a week I’m starting to get cabin fever, and I’m normally an introvert! I can’t image how a ‘social butterfly’ is feeling.

My family and I took a cruise that departed on March 9th and returned to home port on March 14th. That sounds like a crazy thing to do….. now, but at the time there wasn’t a single case in our state. In the week we were gone (having a great time), the virus exploded and we returned to a very different world. 12 of the 13 in our sailing party are now sick. None have tested positive for the virus – because none have been tested!  ‘They’ will only test you if you have a fever. In my case, I had a fever for the first couple of days, plus a cough. Thankfully, the fever is gone, but that cough is hanging on. I never did have the shortness of breath – not yet.

When we boarded the cruise ship, the cruise line staff did take everyone’s temperature before letting them on. When we were getting off, however, they did NOT. I find that odd. A couple members of our sailing party were feeling sick when we got off of the ship. If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you know that’s not uncommon. Again, we had no idea what was going on in the country (or the world) in relation to this virus. I believe that we all have it. That’s not me trying to be dramatic, but what are the odds that we would all get sick at the same time and with the same symptoms.

I went to the doctor a few days after we got off of the ship. I took the first appointment I could get. By then, I didn’t have fever anymore so they wouldn’t test me. Once I learned how they did the test, I was kind of relieved that they didn’t. After all, what is the benefit of having the test? There is no treatment – unless you have to be hospitalized, so I would have been sent home anyway… positive or negative.

Now, a week after we got home, we get an email from the cruise line stating that 2 people WHO WERE ON OUR SAME CRUISE have tested positive for the virus. The don’t know yet where the people stayed on the ship, which dining room they were in or any other details. However, decks 9 and 10 are ‘common’ areas visited by everyone on board at one time or another, so the chance that we came into contact with them (or something they touched) is quite high.

So, self quarantine and ‘social distancing’ (the new buzz phrase) are the things we need to do.

I believe that they should have kept us on the ship. That wouldn’t have been fun (for anyone), but it was probably the right thing to do to avoid us spreading it to anyone else.

That’s my, condensed, story. Everyone stay safe out there.

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