Feeling the love despite coronavirus

US cases hit 15; China reporting methods under scrutiny



While some elderly passengers with pre-existing conditions and other medically vulnerable passengers may be taken off of Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess to finish the coronavirus-induced quarantine on land, others will remain on board. 

Passenger Matt Smith, who has been keeping USA TODAY up to date on the situation on the ship, said the captain made an announcement that they would begin that process by removing 11 passengers from the ship Friday afternoon, local time. Since early February,  218 people – including 20 Americans – have been removed and taken to medical facilities after testing positive for the virus.

Many remain quarantined on the ship, which originally set sail Jan. 20 with 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew. And because they’ve confined to their cabins for the past 11 days, passengers feel almost as though they are on the ship alone.

A bus driven by a chauffeur in protective gear departs the dock occupied by the quarantined Diamond Princess.  Eleven passengers who are elderly or have pre-existing medical conditions were removed from the ship Friday and will finish out their quarantine on hore in Japan.

But Friday is Valentine’s Day – the holiday of love – is not a day many people want to spend in isolation. 

Luckily, it seems Cupid’s arrow is far-reaching. Passengers and crew stuck on board are making the most of their situation by spreading messages of love for the holiday.

Matt Smith, a passenger on Diamond Princess, traveling with his wife, Katherine Codekas, has kept USA TODAY up to date on their time in quarantine


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