CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: CRUISE SHIPS ARE CORONAVIRUS INCUBATORS, STAY AWAY FROM THEM
By Akin Ojumu
Like most men my age, I have a “Bucket List”, i.e. the list of things I’d like to do before I kick the bucket. From Bungee jumping to hiking adventure in the Afghanistan mountains, my Bucket list is packed with wishes of things I’d like to experience and dreams of places I’d love to go before I bid this world farewell. What you wouldn’t find on the list, however, is a leisure trip on a cruise ship. That is a no no for me; I’m petrified by it.
You see, traipsing around on a leisure cruise from place to place, where you’d only have a couple of hours to spend at one place, has never caught my fancy. The idea of getting trapped for days in a floating city on high seas where all you see when you look around is water is not my thing. Being locked up in confined spaces with thousands of strange people who are strung out on alcohol or inebriated with food, is not really my cup of tea. I hate it, I won’t do it, even if I’m paid to do it.
Call me old fashion, but whenever I travel, I like to feel solid ground beneath my feet. The feeling of being rocked side to side, back and forth, knowing there is always a chance of getting drowned, sends a cold shiver down the spine of someone like me who doesn't know how to swim. And what’s even worse are the stories after stories of food poisoning from E-coli on cruise ships; those are not good marketing incentives if you ask me. There’s just something about cruise ships that’s makes the hair at the back of my neck stand up.
Then comes the Coronavirus and my fears have been borne out.
As at last count, as many as 15,000 people have been exposed to the Coronavirus on four cruise ships; the Diamond Princess, World Dream, MS Westerdam, and Grand Princess. Many of these cruise ship passengers, while being quarantined on the cruise ships, got infected with Coronavirus and some of them eventually died from COVID-19.
Cruise ships are like petri dishes where Coronavirus is grown and incubated. There are just too many cases of cruise ship related COVID-19 cases that should give everyone pause. It’s as though the Coronavirus enjoys taking leisure trips on cruise ships. The virus finds breeding ground in confined spaces packed with lots and lots of warm human bodies; it is a feeding frenzy.
The smart thing to do then is to become like me, stay away from cruise ships. If you value your life, you’d kiss cruise ships goodbye – with your face mask on of course. Cancel your reservation, forgo the leisure trip – unless of course you have a death wish. If you really feel like floating on water, do so in your swimming pool. If you don’t have one, use your bathtub or fill a big bowl with water and lay in it.
Be calm, be informed, be vigilant, be prepared.