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Quarantine aboard the Diamond Princess – Day 12

2/15/2020 

06:00 Woke up early and took a little time to sit out on the balcony. It’s nice out today – the sky is clear, waters are calm, and the sun is coming up. My wife had a phone call interview at her dream job – she got the job! What a great way to start the day.

06:40 No announcement as of yet, but the Diamond Princess kitchen is making light of a bad situation – they made a dance cover of “Yummy!” Unfortunately, it seems that it was removed from Youtube.

07:30 We just got a juice box delivery. Yesterday was grape. Today? Not so sure! We also got some chap stick.

We got a juice box – wonder what it is?

07:40 We both tried it at the same time – it tastes of mildly rotten tomato paste with a hint of Cheerios.

Edit: turns out it was carrot juice. That stuff is cursed.

09:00 We just found out that we’ll be able to go out to the 15th deck today around 17:00 for an hour, whoop!

They also delivered a thick sudoku book in Japanese. Interesting fact: it opens right to left, unlike most books!

11:13 Just got our cleaning supplies! We are taking it easy this morning, so I’ll post a picture once we open the pack. Interesting read – apparently the US is attempting to offload citizens from the Diamond Princess.

12:20 Apparently the state department is evacuating Americans – we have a decision to make! We’re getting dressed and ready for CDC officials (if that’s a thing). I think this is a rumor as of now, just because we haven’t heard anything from the embassy. Rumor also has it that we would be re-quarantined with some individuals from wuhan for FOURTEEN DAYS – we would much rather stay on the ship and end our quarantine. Will update as more info is available.

13:30 

We continue to have barges offloading waste and making water.

13:52 We called the US embassy-tokyo. No information is available at this time on flights back home, and there is no confirmation at this time as they are still working on negotiations with the Japanese government. They advised that more information would be available in the coming hours.

14:00 Just got lunch! Our inner food critic spirits say that today was a miss.

Pork belly for her, spaghetti for me. Ramen to top it off!

14:30 We got a captains announcement regarding US plans for evacuation. No information is available at this time, and we were instructed to call the state department for further questions. They advised that more information would be available as the situation unfolds, and reminded us of how dynamic of a situation this is.

16:00 URGENT MESSAGE TO DIAMOND PRINCESS PASSENGERS We have just been informed officially by the US embassy that there will be two chartered evacuation flights. We must make our decision by 10AM tomorrow morning, and will depart tomorrow night should we decide to go. Have a read below:

Part one.

Part two.

My wife and I are concerned. We will all be tested pre-flight, but no results will be available. We will be on a flight in close quarters for 12 hours or so with potential CoVid-19 cases. There’s no guarantee of being at the same air base, or not being separated. Our quarantine on the boat will have basically been for nothing, and we’ll start over again. We called the embassy – they said that the flight will not be pleasant as we’ll be required to keep N95 masks on the entire time. They also stated that we will be denied entry to America should we refuse this flight for (estimated) two weeks or more – there wasn’t definitive information on this. They said living conditions will be around that of a motel/training camp for military recruits.

Where was this evacuation at the start of our quarantine? Also, why not wait until day 14 of this quarantine, have us all tested, and fly back to the US quarantine free?

We both will contact work and plan accordingly. After a long debate, I think we have decided to go ahead and take the flight to be on American soil before travel becomes increasingly difficult.

All aside, we’re looking at it as one step closer to the finish line – we can potentially land ourselves in Texas! I wonder if Uber eats delivers to air bases.. whataburger, anyone?

Our (Americans who choose to be on the flight) new quarantine end date is 3/2/2020.

18:00 We just finished up our first walk outside in a day.

Mt. Fuji.

The 15th deck at night with Fuji in the background.

Ambulances continue to take people away.

Japanese health officials.

18:16 Embassy email

“Update to Urgent Message to U.S. Citizen Diamond Princess Passengers and Crew

Thank you for your attention to the urgent message we sent earlier today. We would like to provide the below updates in response to questions that we have been receiving.

First, the baggage limit on board the charter flights is a total of 70 pounds per person, plus one small carry-on that can fit under the seat in front of you. The aircraft does not have overhead bins.

Second, if you or any of your family members taking the charter flight has special needs, for example mobility or supplemental oxygen, please indicate this in your reply email. Likewise, if you have a service animal, please let us know immediately.

Finally, please be aware we will be sending additional information in the coming hours that will expand upon several issues addressed by our message this afternoon regarding the planned repatriation operation. We greatly appreciate your continued patience and understanding as we prepare to move forward on this effort.

Please note that if you want to take the charter flights, we must receive your confirmation no later than 10:00 AM February 16.”

19:00 Tasty! They gave us more chocolate today.

Dinner is here! Barramundi, and beef (we think?)

20:25 Captains announcement! (Will fill this in tomorrow morning, my wife is napping and I can’t play the recording out loud)

21:23 After reading that yet another 67 people were diagnosed positive, my wife and I have locked in our seats on the government charter flight back to the USA. More info on this in the morning, as we have a lot to do before midday tomorrow. We’re soaking in the time together, as we don’t know if we will be separated the next two weeks. Good night everyone!

As our last night of known is upon us, and the first day of the unknown starts tomorrow – I’d like to share a picture.

Sunset over Tokyo Bay, Japan.

Continue reading!

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