And with an overhead announcement interrupting their chat on The Project to flag a “napkin folding” session, it sounds like the days are only getting longer.
Following the news the total confirmed cases of the deadly virus on the ship has risen to 175, including four people who are in a serious condition, Paul and Coralie Williamson spoke on The Project from their room, which they have been confined to since February 3.
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There are about 200 Australians among the 3700 passengers and crew on the Diamond Princess, which has the biggest known cluster of coronavirus cases outside China.
Speaking to hosts Carrie Bickmore, Peter Helliar, Waleed Aly and Georgie Tunny, the couple said they were “trying to remain as positive as possible”.
“That’s really all you can do under the circumstances, I believe,” Paul said.
“What are you doing to kill the time? How are you getting through with the boredom?,” Waleed posed.
Queensland couple Paul and Coralie Williamson are on board the Diamond Princess under quarantine – they spoke to The Project to reveal what it’s really like locked in their cabin. pic.twitter.com/612BpCbxIF
— The Project (@theprojecttv) February 12, 2020
“Look, being married with this lady beside me for 35 years, it is never dull,” Paul said, adding: “I get up as per usual in the morning. I have a shower and get ready and get into the routine of doing a few steps in this confined space and do a bit of reading and a lot of other stuff,” his wife chiming in that she likes to “dance on the balcony with her mask on.”
“We have to take our temperature to check that we’re not 37.5. So if we’re bored, “Oh we’ll take the temperature now!,” Coralie added, laughing.
While answering a question about whether they’re worried about catching the virus, a chime signifying an overhead announcement from a crew member interrupted.
“We’d like to share with you what we’ve arranged to keep you busy and entertained,” the woman’s voice said.
“We will have quiz of the day and we will teach you some napkin folding, and our fitness instructor along with our dance instructor will be back for dance, stretch, and wellbeing.”
The announcement continued: “Remember to keep checking for new messages coming in from our leaders with well wishes and information. Tag your social media post hang in there, Diamond Princess, and keep sharing your positive energy.
“Diamond Princess family, we are here, we are with you. We care and we’ll continue to do our best to keep you comfortable and occupied during this very unique situation,” the message concluded.
Fellow Diamond Princess passengers have described their misery on-board as they were told to remain in their cabins to stop the potential spread of the virus earlier this month.
Passenger David Abel likened the ship to a “floating prison”.
“We are definitely no longer on a luxury cruise, where we had the superb benefit of eating from a dining room and a choice from the menu – those days are over,” he said last week.
“It’s just an extended two-week cruise, but it’s not going to be a luxury cruise, it’s going to be like a floating prison,” he continued.
“For many passengers it’s going to be absolute boredom.”
Eleven Australian passengers have already been confirmed to have the virus.
Today, Melbourne grandfather told 3AW radio his 21-year-old granddaughter has just been diagnosed with coronavirus, which would make her the 12th Australian case, AAP reported.
“My granddaughter Bianca, who is 21 years old, tested positive and now she’s in isolation in the hospital and my three other family members are all in isolation wards over there,” the man named Peter said.
He said Bianca, who is from the Melbourne suburb of Sydenham, had been removed from the ship along with her parents and younger brother, and taken to a hospital about two hours from the port where the ship is in lockdown.
Cruise passengers will have to remain on-board until at least February 19.
Princess Cruises, which operates the Diamond Princess, said all passengers would be refunded for the cruise, as well as air travel, hotels, ground transportation and other expenses.