A suburban couple is anxious to get home, but for now they are caught up in fears over the deadly coronavirus after a passenger onboard their cruise ship tested positive for the disease.
The couple, Kelli and Bob Landers from Hawthorn Woods, are onboard the Holland America Westerdam cruise ship. They boarded the ship on Jan. 16 as part of a 30-day cruise, and stopped in several countries, including Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong.
Things were going smoothly until an 83-year-old woman tested positive for the coronavirus last week. After the positive test, everyone was ordered to remain on the ship, and since then they have been stuck at a port in Cambodia.
“I’m ready to go home. It’s been a while,” Kelli Landers said.
The infected passenger tested positive for the disease at an airport in Kuala Lumpur, and since then all the passengers and crew onboard the ship have been extensively tested and observed for signs of the virus.
“The expectation was that we would be home by now. We are missing our granddaughter’s first birthday,” Bob Landers said.
“We went through very vigorous testing last night and made us get our temps taken for the umpteenth time,” Kelli Landers said.
The couple says the cruise company has done everything in their power to make the passengers and crew onboard the ship comfortable, and the company says they are being very cautious.
“We greatly appreciate the thoroughness of all authorities involved in resolving this situation,” the company said in a statement. “Guests are being very well cared for, including assistance with any medications needed.”
The company has established a hotline for families to get in contact with their loved ones, but for now, families like the Landers’ are trying to make the best of a bad situation.
“We have free run of the ship. It’s like a transatlantic cruise,” Bob Landers said.