- A Cruise ship is, perhaps, the last place a rational person would want to be during a global pandemic.
- The Diamond Princess fiasco in Japan demonstrates that cruise ships are virtual incubators for the deadly coronavirus.
- Despite the writing on the wall, tourists are still going on cruises. Their stupidity puts all of us in danger.
In late January, the British Cruise ship Diamond Princess embarked on a tour of East Asia. Everything went smoothly until an elderly passenger tested positive for Covid-19. On Feb. 4, Japanese authorities decided to screen and test more passengers on the ship, and what they discovered was terrifying.
Out of the 3,500 people later quarantined on the Diamond Princess, a staggering 542 were confirmed to have the new disease. This was, at the time, the highest infection density outside Wuhan, China with one Japanese expert calling the ship a, quote “coronavirus mill.”
The Diamond Princess story made international headlines. So it may come as a surprise to learn that many people are still going on cruises. Their reckless decision puts all of us in danger. And the Trump administration needs to do something about it.
People Haven’t Learned the Lessons of the Diamond Princess
The Wuhan coronavirus has spread out of East Asia to become what is arguably a global pandemic. There are now over 100,000 confirmed cases of the deadly infection with outbreaks in every single continent outside of Antarctica. Yet despite this dangerous environment, people are still exposing themselves to extreme risk by going on international cruises.
The Grand Princess cruise ship is currently in limbo off the coast of California. Out of the 46 people tested on the ship, a full 21 have already tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
As testing ramps up, we could be looking at a repeat of the Diamond Princess disaster as coronavirus spreads throughout the ship’s 3,500 tightly-packed passengers.
Many on Twitter think this situation is unacceptable.