A Bay Area family that likely had no exposure to the Wuhan coronavirus is now quarantined of their own volition, at home, after taking a flight to Singapore and canceling a trip on a cruise ship.
Gail Yip and her family live on the Peninsula, and they're now holed up at home after flying to Southeast Asia, turning around, and flying back. As Yip explains to ABC 7, she and her family were part of a group of 16 who had been planning to take a Celebrity Cruise that would be stopping in multiple Asian countries. But after landing in Singapore, the Yips and their friends and extended family on the trip all decided to turn back around due to the growing coronavirus crisis.
Cruise ships have turned into floating prisons as the virus has made its way onto them. A Princess Cruises ship currently docked in Yokohama, Japan has had 41 confirmed cases of the virus, 11 of those U.S. citizens. Everyone else on board remains under quarantine, trapped in their rooms most of the day — some of them windowless. Another cruise ship, from Royal Caribbean, returned to New Jersey Friday morning with 27 Chinese nationals on board, all of whom were immediately screened for the virus. Four were taken to a hospital out of caution, and one reportedly had a fever — but so far none have had confirmed coronavirus diagnoses. The ship was supposed to leave again today, but that trip has been delayed by a day while the company awaits the test results from the CDC.
In the case of Ms. Yip and her family, no one has shown any symptoms and there has been no indication that they were ever exposed to the virus, but they've quarantined themselves for 14 days anyway, because: Asia. (Chinese nationals account for about 20 percent of all tourism in Singapore, but there have only been 33 coronavirus cases there, and the Yips were there only briefly.)
"It's the better thing to do for us. That's the decision we all made," said Yip, via FaceTime, speaking to ABC 7.
The group of 16 that skipped out on the cruise still may have dodged a bullet — the Celebrity Cruises ship has reportedly been denied entry at several ports in Asia. Also, with flights from China to the U.S. rapidly dwindling, who's to say if the Yip family would even have been able to get back home once the two-week cruise was over.
Photo: Museums Victoria