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Coronavirus quarantine day 17 – Lackland Air Force Base

2/20/2020
00:50
Rachel and I were watching New Girl on Netflix, but thought we heard yelling outside. We looked and saw that there was a woman shouting at some of the quarantine officers saying that we deserve information. Her family joined her shortly after.

01:09
Two ambulances pulled up to our building, one of which pulled through the gate. One of the quarantined cruise-mates walked into the ambulance.

01:15
The second ambulance took another individual. We noticed that there were some individuals not wearing masks on the other side of the fence.

Rachel called dispatch and asked for some answers, as we didn’t get a newsletter today and had just watched two ambulances take people in the middle of the night. It reminded us of how people were taken in japan.
We asked when our official release date is, and what they are being told for now is the second of March. Dispatch was awesome – they noticed that rachel was upset and stayed on the line, brought her Dr. pepper and candy, and reassured both of us that everything was being done to ensure our safety. It’s nice to know that there are a lot of people out here caring for us.

As far as the two people pulled off – no one can reveal whether or not there are more positive cases, as this information comes from the CDC.
The ambulances were supposed to come around noon, but there was some sort of delay so they came now.
The dispatch guy was awesome!

There does appear to be an information gap between the CDC and everyone else.

Here’s a video that might help – please watch DMAT/CDC!

08:07
DMAT came to bring breakfast! They reassured us that everything will be okay. They especially checked on rachel, as she had a hard time last night. They said that everyone is here rooting for us, and realize that it’s a tough situation for everyone. They let us know that the CDC will be coming by to test everyone for COVID-19 today.

We’ve got bacon (oh sweet, succulent bacon), an omelette with pico de gallo. We had yet another Apple that we’re stockpiling as a snack. We’ll have to go trade then in at the Apple store for some bananas!

One thing to remember.. this is a tough situation for DMAT/CDC/military as well!
DMAT has been pulled from their families with very little notice, and they’re living in our little bubble as well.

09:35
The CDC came by! We received four masks, had our temperature checks done, and received new quarantine orders. The quarantine orders outlined why we were being held. The message to receive is that there are no less restrictive alternatives. Given that the infection rate of the Diamond Princess was higher than that of the rate reported in Hubei Provence, China, we are at a much higher risk. No official date has been communicated on paper by the CDC, but we are being told March 2nd by dispatch.

10:30
Two behavioral health professionals came by to check on both of us to make sure we were handling everything okay. They stayed in the hallway – we stayed in our room.
They asked if we needed anything, or needed any questions answered.

Rachel and I are taking it easy today, and only have one radio interview. Yesterday was pretty busy, so we’re going to take some time to watch Netflix and work on the blog so it can be up and running.

12:00
Had a Skype conversation with u/planningmindfully regarding blog constructing help. She’s great! Check out her blog:

13:00
Here’s our lunch!

Chicken, rice, vegetables, and a salad with a cinnamon roll.

13:30
The head of CDC operations on site came to our room to just say hi, as well as answer any questions we might have.
She says that the release date will be March 2nd*.
They are working on getting a conference call set up for later today to answer questions.
She explained that the air system is based on water. When it was hot the other day, they drained all of the hot water and pushed cold water through so our AC worked. This process takes roughly 48 hours. Funny enough, now it’s frigid outside! Now they’re trying to reverse it again for heat.
A news letter is available and being passed our.
Tests will be conducted on everyone that is symptomatic, or anyone who requests it. Two tests will be done – a nasopharyngeal test, and a oropharyngeal test. If one of these comes back positive, then we will be considered positive and transported to a local hospital for treatment.

*for those who test positive, their roommates quarantine starts over.

She asked if we would be willing to talk to government officials that are visiting tomorrow, as we are very involved with everything coronavirus and the media.
We will be talking personally with the admirals/senior officials from the health department to share how things have been.

13:53
Had a call with the CMO of Princess – he has been incredibly helpful with the logistics in all of the operations behind the Diamond Princess passengers. I’ve kept in contact and will continue to keep in contact to give an inside look on our situation. Princess continues to try to give us quality of life improvements.

15:00
Package! Is here! Thank you so much u/angelsgirl2002 for the ornament!

17:00
We took yet another nap being as we stayed up till 4am on Netflix. After waking up, we called in to the conference call to get news. The call was to the head of CDC operations on site.

Many people are worried about the virus after seeing all of the news behind it.
They recognized that we’ve been through a lot in the last month, and they are here to support us.

There have been some “growing pains” with lodging, such as space for those who don’t have double rooms, or the AC being finicky.

We will be having conference calls every few days to keep us updated.

Being as our rate aboard the Diamond Princess was the highest in the world for COVID-19, the CDC considers us an extremely high risk to the public.

As far as testing is concerned, they are making rounds of the complex to perform voluntary tests.

If someone tests negative, they are not free and clear. This is because they could contract the virus throughout the quarantine.

Dinner was bomb today! Spring rolls, general Tso’s chicken, fried rice (you cooks are hilarious with your rice after all of these posts), and a brownie, with soup to top it off! Yum!

As far as infection prevention is concerned, we are to stay in our room to minimize exposure and protect ourselves.

They have noticed people outside. “We will not be policing you – that’s not our intention. Our intention is that you understand from a public health standpoint so you can make your own decisions.”

As far as social distancing when going outside (whenever allowed) – we must remain 6 feet from other people other than the people we room with.
We must also wear our N95 masks, and most of all: speak up so we’re heard and problems can be addressed.

We’re advised to not share towels, cups, etc. just in case someone is positive and the other is negative.
Hand washing remains to be the BEST way to prevent infection – this goes for anything.

In the next few days, we may be moving to a new living place to improve living conditions. We are happy with what we have, but we won’t say no to that! The new quarters would be more up to date, spacious, etc.

Heat and air are an issue around the base as described previously.

Questions around quarantine: orders have to be re-evaluated @72 hours, which is why we keep getting new orders.
This doesn’t mean that we are starting the 14 days over, but just continuing it.

The quarantine officials at the Atlanta CDC headquarters gave an official release date of March 2nd, except for those with close contact with those who are infected. These individuals will have their quarantine start over from the date of last contact.

The quarantine period 14 days is to make sure we capture incubation period, and have some wiggle room. The CDC is comfortable with this time frame, and does not think that we will be a threat past this point.

Signs and symptoms to look out for are fever, coughing, and shortness of breath.
People are coming around to ask about signs and symptoms when taking our temperature, but a 24 hour team is on site if we become ill. If we become ill, they are only a call away.

“Somebody was having a lot of fun on Amazon, there are lots of packages, I think it might be Christmas!” – CDC head.
GOOD JOB REDDIT! Not all of these are from you guys, but I’m sure it’s noticeable.
Process of delivery: given the security required on base, packages may be a little delayed when delivering.
No personal deliveries are available – all packages must be shipped.
No food delivery (grub hub, etc) will be permitted due to security purposes. Unfortunately, that means no Whataburger for now, but we’re coming for you..
HEB is available – we place the orders, someone picks it up, we have our order delivered to our rooms.

A hospitality email was given to us for if one the case we need fresh linens/towels. This is to help free up the dispatch phone.
Some people have had frustrations from dispatch not picking up the phone – they are very busy. They requested that non-urgent needs go through as a text instead of a call, as urgent needs must be met if they arise (for example, medical issues).

At this point, the line was opened up for questions. It was organized – for questions, we dialed *6 to be added to a queue.

Q: If we turn out positive, how many days did it take for the result?
A: The tests go to local lab, get processed there, then ships to Atlanta/CDC. It is then processed there, after their lab runs the test. Once this is confirmed, the CDC in Atlanta will announce official cases.
(To those asking, this is why the local CDC hasn’t been able to confirm cases as of yet).
They’re receiving samples from all sites around the country – our samples our priority. All of that being said, it takes 2-3 days for results.

Q: If test results are positive, but we’re asymptomatic, where are we sent?
A: If positive with any symptoms then we would move you to an appropriate facility. The 14 days aren’t relevant to those positive. At that point, we wait for you to be asymptomatic then test you. If you have two negative samples, then you are clear. The virus waxes and wanes, so it’s possible to get a negative followed by a positive test. This is why repeat testing is important.

Q: If I don’t test myself, but I’m still exposed and asymptomatic, I’m just free?
A: I wouldn’t think of it like that – the 14 day quarantine covers this. If you were exposed by say your spouse, then your quarantine would be 14 days since last exposure.

Q: So in your professional opinion, should I get tested?
A: Yes, it’s safer for you and to your close contacts.

Q: How many people have the virus since we’re gotten here?
A Several people were presumptive positive, and are being retested. We let the official CDC announce cases after their tests, so as of now we can’t say until Atlanta does.

Q We ask about medication, I love my medication. How long before I can get my medication from USPS?
A: The USPS tends to be an additional 2-3 days to be delivered. Medication is expedited – just call is and we will keep a look out for this.
*this question was answered by someone in package screening/call center

Q: Can we go home after the 14 days, and will it be safe to go home if we are asymptomatic?
A: If you’ve had no exposure to anyone who has been positive and remain negative and asymptomatic, then you may go home – you do not have to be tested before you go home.

Rachel and I wonder about those who are positive but weren’t tested and don’t show symptoms. That being said, we trust the quarantine here.

Q: Will we have paperwork when we go home?
A: Yes – you will get a few pieces of paper. You’ll get a resend order for quarantine saying that you successfully completed it (our graduation!), and medical clearance letter saying we’re not at risk for work, etc.

We totally are going to frame our “graduation certificate” on the wall.

Q: If we move to the new quarters in the coming days, how do we keep from being shoulder to a shoulder to positive individual like we were when we came to America?
A: The move will be very different than it was during your evacuation, and we think you’ll notice this. For you, it will be a short move. For us, it’ll take a good part of the day. We will take about 4 rooms of people at a time on a bus to limit contact.
We will tape off parts of the bus for every trip to show which seats to use each run, that way you are not using same seats for each trip. This limits all contact as much as possible.

I tried to get a question in about reddit care packages, but will defer to dispatch tonight. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get my question on this time around. Should have updates on this!

18:00
We had another knock on the door.

We received masks, sanitary wipes, and gloves.

Here are the masks that they provided.

18:20
To those of you who sent items on our registry, we opened the packages over FaceTime with Rachel’s parents. Thank you SO much for being so kind, we greatly appreciate each and every one of you! Corn holders, a strainer, and a tent for our next travel adventure.

19:15
The CDC came by to check our temperatures. Rachel was 96.8f, I was 98.6f. Much better than our last few temperatures.

20:21
This night shift commander dispatch guy is great! This is the same one who was calm and helped my wife last night. He just sent a mini care package of her favorite things. It’s amazing to be surrounded by people who care.

Mini care package from the commander of night shift!

Continue reading!

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