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My dad has asked me several times if I’d like to accompany him and my stepmother on a cruise. 

“It’s fun,” he says. “You have lots to do, like eat, see things, eat…”

Well, my travel preferences involve more being on a big floating restaurant to actually seeing a place, so I’ve been pretty slow, if not petrified, in my inability to say anything but “no” to the invite.

Then crops up the coronavirus. Why not the Milwaukee or PBR virus? Why ruin a great name like Corona? But neither here nor there, a few weeks ago I had a planned trip to Arizona that I took to see an old friend of mine. I almost canceled that trip as a case of the virus had cropped up in Maricopa County (Phoenix), Ariz., just before I was to fly into the desert climate.

As a precaution, I stuck one of my newly purchased face masks, bought for an emergency pack for the Linn County CERT (Citizens Emergency Response Team), into my backpack. I expected several people to be wearing them, but actually only employees at the Phoenix airport had them on.

My question to myself, How stupid do I have to be to fly into a city where coronavirus has been found just to see an old friend? Well, apparently I didn’t spend a lot of time on that question and went.

Meanwhile, according to, “Fourteen Americans evacuated from a cruise ship that was docked off the coast of Japan have tested positive for COVID-19 (the new name given Coronavirus). They were among more than 300 U.S. passengers aboard the cruise ship ‘Diamond Princess’ who were flown back to the U.S. over the weekend, according to a joint release from the U.S. State Department and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The fourteen tested positive during the evacuation process. They were isolated while on the planes and will receive medical care and remain in isolation.

“More than 1,700 health care workers in China have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and six of them have died, according to media reports. Most of the cases were in Hubei, the province at the center of the outbreak.

 “Worldwide the number of cases has passed 71,000, the majority of them in China, and the number of deaths is now 1,775, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.”

The operative words in the first paragraph of the WebMD report were “cruise ship.” How terrible would that be to take a cruise and suddenly be restricted to your closet-sized cruise ship hotel room, hoping coronavirus doesn’t go through the ventilation system to infect all on board the ship!

The allure of a cruise keeps going down. Eat, eat, eat – get sick from some disease that you can’t get away from. Hmmm, not my idea of a good vacation.

This isn’t to say lots of people haven’t floated to the best vacation they’ve ever had – this particular person just isn’t interested. A floating coronavirus fest has little appeal to me.

But, in comparison, the world is at a presumed 71,000 coronavirus cases, according to “The Great Plague (1665-1666) was a massive outbreak of disease in England that killed 75,000 to 100,000 people, up to a fifth of London’s population. The disease was historically identified as bubonic plague, an infection by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, transmitted through fleas.”

There’s a big difference in infected and deaths. 

I watched a YouTube video the other day, and a nurse spoke about the disease in China; she stated their living conditions are pathetic compared to the United States. They live in tight-packed conditions with much less cleanliness that promotes the spread of disease.

Another doctor spoke of bringing infected people to the United States to quarantine. She said our medical practices are more advanced, and we have the ability to quarantine so disease won’t spread with the know-how to cure people.

All interesting given the spread of the disease; meanwhile, I’m not spending any time on a floating Carnival Cruise or any other giant Petri dish.

Jackie Taylor

Linn County News


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