MEDFORD, Ore. – A Medford couple are ending their vacation in quarantine. Bud and Carla LeFever of Medford were supposed to be enjoying a 15-day cruise but less than half way through the trip their ship returned to port.
“We go into a holding patter about 50 miles out from the Golden Gate and they helicopter out CDC people with test kits and they put them on the ship and started testing people,” said Bud as he explained how the situation escalated off the coast of California.
19 crew members and two passengers tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus. Not everyone on the ship was tested.
“We found out one of the waiters had it so he would have infected a lot of people,” said Carla.
Now, Bud and Carla are playing a waiting game, not knowing when they will get off the ship of where they will be taken for another two weeks of quarantine.
“The days of confinement are not counting towards the quarantine so we still have two full weeks that we’re not going to get to go home,” said Carla.
Carla and Bud say they’ve been told Oregonians on the ship will be taken to either Georgia or Texas for quarantine.
“We’re just waiting to get our luggage tags, which may come today and we might be off the ship later this afternoon and take our charter to either a base outside San Antonio or a base outside of Atlanta, we just don’t know yet,” said Bud.
“We’re going to be mingling with other people that may be infected but don’t know it yet because they’re not going to test us until we actually get to where we’re going,” said Carla.
Both Carla and Bud say Princess Cruise Line has been very accommodating during their time in containment, saying that one of the first things crew members did was send around a form to passengers asking what medications were needed during their extended stay.
“I have high blood pressure and other situations, I only pack enough for the 14-day cruise and one of the first things they did was send out a questionnaire of what prescriptions we need and within two days I had prescription that would last 14 days,” said Carla.
They say that while it’s not ideal their situation is much better than some of the other passengers on board.
“We’re very fortunate that we have a balcony and we can go outside and get fresh air. For the people that are in these inside rooms, they don’t have anything, they don’t even have a window and some of these are families; they have four people in one small inside cabin,” said Carla.
The LeFever’s are staying positive through it all.
“Since were 71 and 72 we have a 20% chance of getting it but we have an 80% chance of not getting it. I am focusing on the 80%, the positive. Life is good and I’m not going to expect the bad, if it comes then we deal with it,” said Carla.
She survived breast cancer and is still kickin’ and has a positive attitude that she tries to rub off on me so I don’t stay grumpy,” said Bud, “It’s trying our patience a little bit but we’re staying positive. It’s probably going to ruin my golf game,” said Bud who was quick to tell jokes, “who knows it might help it.”
Originally the LeFever’s had another cruise planned in another month but at the urges of their children they decided they better cancel.
“We got a letter while we’ve been contained saying that we have a period of time that we can cancel and not lose our money," said Carla, "we receive a credit for a future cruise."
“The cruise industry is going to take a big hit on this,” said Bud, “and the people that enjoy doing that, like we do, will be looking for other things. Hopefully this gets past the critical stage and things get better and we get a handle on it.”