On March 7, Holland America’s cruise ship, Zaandam sailed from Buenos Aires, Argentina and planned to sail around the world. Many people were excited about this cruise and planned to hold many celebrations throughout this trip. There were over 1,000 passengers on this ship that were ready to make unforgettable and happy memories, but they had no idea that the coronavirus would crash their plans. Three weeks after Zaandam sailed from Buenos Aires, passengers were quarantined on this ship. Unfortunately, four people died on this ship and two of those people died from coronavirus. Approximately 200 people on this ship had flu-like symptoms, which means that there could have been a lot more passengers that also carried the coronavirus.
On March 30, Zaandam and Rotterdam cruise ships headed toward Port Everglades. The plan was to make sure that the passengers that didn’t show any flu-like/ COVID-19 symptoms would take precautions like wearing a mask, and be transferred to an airport or a safer location in Florida. While the healthy passengers would be transferred, those that show symptoms of COVID-19 or are sick would have to be treated on the ship. However, there was an exception for those in a critical condition as they would be sent to a local hospital.
At first, DeSantis, the governor of Florida, hesitated to take action on this plan and to allow these cruise ships to dock in Florida. Even though he was worried about the coronavirus spreading throughout Florida, he learned that there were Florida residents on these ships, and wanted to help them. DeSantis also mentioned that another ship, also known as the Coral Princess was expected to dock in Florida too. This is an ongoing process, but hopefully these passengers will be able to return home safely.
By Emmie Digon