Fehrenbacher said some people tried to hide their coughs, though many had a lung-deep, rasping cough that indicates more than a scratchy throat.
The CDC did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.
“All you can do is kind” of try to get as small as you can and hope that that respirator is fully sealed around your face, “Fehrenbacher said.
After a few hours, a woman stood up at the front of the bus, called for attention, and explained the proper protocols for wearing an N 289 respirator mask, Fehrenbacher said.
After she sat down, Fehrenbacher said he heard someone behind him mutter “mask nazi “under their breath.
” You could tell that the flip – between being a passenger who’s catered to on a luxury cruise line, versus an evacuee being rescued in the middle of an outbreak – that switch hadn’t flipped for quite a few people, “Fehrenbacher said.
“Some people were very, very critical, very, very frustrated, extremely upset with the circumstances of the bus ride,” Christoph added.
more than two hours in, a man asked about using the bathroom, Fehrenbacher said. There were none on the bus.
He said the man was first told that he would have to wait, so he sat down. But as more time passed, the man went back to the driver and insisted. Other people on the bus began scolding the driver, Fehrenbacher said.
Eventually, workers in hazmat suits took the man off the bus to use a bathroom. Others did the same.
Before they could load onto the cargo planes, officials had to return everyone’s passports, which was “its own ordeal,” Christoph said.
The process seemed disorganized, Fehrenbacher said – workers in hazmat suits handed passports to people at the front of the bus and let passengers pass them in a line to their owners at the back. He worried about all the hands touching each passport.
On the flight, passengers could take from boxes of supplies like face masks and water bottles as they boarded the plane.
Officials also provided snacks, but Fehrenbacher said he did not eat on the flight for fear of exposing himself to the virus.
Fehrenbacher said he slept for most of the flight. He covered his eyes with a surgical mask that he’d been handed at the front of plane.
Christoph said he also slept for most of the flight, and hoped his glasses would provide some eye protection .
The plane landed at Travis Air Force Base in California, where the evacuees would complete their next quarantine.
Fehrenbacher said he later realized that a woman sitting behind him had also tested positive for the virus: When the plane landed, he said, a CDC official told her she would be continuing to Omaha, Nebraska – where the CDC sent the infected Diamond Princess evacuees.
The CDC did not respond to a request for comment about the woman’s case in time for publication.
“Every single person, first thing” they said was ‘welcome home,’ ‘welcome home, sir,’ “Fehrenbacher said of his arrival.
when he got to the apartment where he’d be staying while quarantined, Fehrenbacher said, the first thing he did was shower and request disinfecting wipes to clean his luggage.
The morning everyone got their next test results, Fehrenbacher said, CDC workers went apartment to apartment with a – gallon trash can, stacks of gowns and gloves, a big bottle of hand sanitizer, and manila envelopes.
“They go into an apartment, they come out a couple minutes later, and they would kind of help one another take the gown off, throw it in the trash, take the gloves off, put hand sanitizer on, and then put new gloves on, put another gown on, and take the trash can and walk to the next apartment, “he said.
They told Fehrenbacher his coronavirus test had come back negative. “I sat down on the ottoman behind me, and I just felt an overwhelming feeling of wanting to burst into tears,” he said.
They read him a script that said he still needed to monitor his symptoms, then moved on.
“It took a few minutes to process. My dad was the first person that I called,” Fehrenbacher said.
He added, “the times that I’ve cried throughout most of the quarantine were times when I didn’t really ever expect it to happen.
Fehrenbacher and Christoph are no longer confined to their room, so they spend much of the day outside on the military base, as do many of the other people under quarantine there.
People walk around the lawns, play soccer, sunbathe, and do calisthenics, he said. Everybody wears face masks and tries to stay 6 feet apart.
Fehrenbacher said he has about 416 pages of his last book left. He still spends lots of time with Christoph.
“We went on a late-night walk, which is quite the experience because the whole yard is lit by these giant floodlights, “he said. “There’s at least three or four cars and trucks with US marshals sitting in them to keep watch around the perimeter.”
“data-slide-title=” “[It’s] somewhere between a zombie movie and summer camp,” Fehrenbacher said. “I don’t know if this is awesome or if this is terrifying.” “Id=” its-somewhere-between-a-zombie-movie-and-summer-camp-fehrenbacher-said-i-dont-know-if -this-is-awesome-or-if-this-is-terrifying – 52 “>
“[It’s] somewhere between a zombie movie and summer camp, “Fehrenbacher said. “I don’t know if this is awesome or if this is terrifying.”
He said he and Christoph go into the laundry rooms, which are often filled with extra supplies, to see what kind of loot they can find. Sometimes there are bottles of lotion or shampoo, cases of soda, or boxes of cookies.
“The best thing that I’ve gotten at this point was a bottle of hand sanitizer,” Fehrenbacher said.
“I’m kind of in a limbo stage right now, where I can’t go back to China for the foreseeable future, and beyond that I have to find a place to stay, “Christoph said.