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Coronavirus: Ontario native talks ‘great amount of fear’ during lockdown on cruise ship near Japan

One half of a Port Dover couple quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise off the coast of Japan for almost a month says the most unnerving part of testing positive for the new coronavirus is not knowing what’s going to happen.

“You have really no idea what’s going to happen,” said Rose Yerex. “So, yeah, there’s a great amount of fear there.”


Rose and her husband Greg were two of more than 700 people infected by COVID-19 on the cruise ship forced to dock in Yokohama, Japan, early February to undergo a disease control quarantine.

Having the affair behind her and happily back at home in Norfolk County, Yerex says the unwelcome adventure began when word came down that an individual on the ship came down with the novel coronavirus.

Yerex said she and her husband — both in their late 60s — had no idea what they were in store for since neither of them had an idea for what the new coronavirus was.

“No. Other than it might have related a long time ago to the SARS incident,” Yerex said.

Not long after docking in Japan, the two were tested by masked staff members despite feeling fine.

“Both Greg and I have felt fine this whole time. So we’re what they refer to as people who had tested positive but were asymptomatic.”

After enduring a piece of swab down her throat, Yerex said the results came back three days later on Feb. 18 with her test coming back negative and Greg’s returning positive.

However, a day later, she was told there was a mistake and she was also in fact confirmed to have the infection.

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