ALAMEDA (KPIX 5) — Christina Kerby of Alameda is finally home after a cruise with her mother through the South China Sea was disrupted by the coronavirus epidemic.
“We were first rejected by Manila. We thought, okay, it’s probably normal, plans change. And then as the trip went on, we were rejected by more and more countries,” Kerby told KPIX 5.
Kerby and her mom were on the Westerdam, a Holland America ship. After getting rejected by more ports of call, the cruise director canceled the cruise and headed to Bangkok, Thailand to disembark.
“The night before we got there, they told us that Thailand would no longer welcome us. It was crazy,” Kerby said.
The Westerdam was ultimately escorted back to the South China Sea by a Thai naval vessel and away from the port.
Christina and her mother finally were able to disembark in Cambodia, but home was still several days off after a scare.
“I woke up in the morning to a note under my door saying guests are being asked to stay in the hotel pending further health screening,” Kerby said. It was all because a passenger had tested positive–which later turned out to be a false positive–for coronavirus.
“Because I didn’t speak the language, I didn’t know what was going to happen to me. They tipped our heads back and stuck this sick swab up your nose. It felt like it was going to poke through my brain. It was really painful,” Kerby recalled.
Four days later, she and the rest of the passengers were declared virus free and could leave, but the problems continued.
“Our nanny quit last week while I was still in Cambodia, actually, because she was afraid of catching coronavirus from me when I got home,” she said.
She says the stigma is still an issue today.
“It’s hard to come back from a situation like this and not feel the gravity of it. Even in my own community, people are wondering if it’s safe to be around me. There have been some FB posts in my community FB group–like saying that’s too close for home or that’s dangerous and irresponsible for her to go out. “