Coronavirus: Grand Princess cruise passenger shares her story from quarantine at Travis AFB

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- ABC7 News went behind the scenes of the coronavirus quarantine at Travis Air Force base and into the crisis as it unfolded on the Grand Princess cruise ship.

I-Team Reporter Dan Noyes has connected with a passenger from Santa Cruz who has been documenting how her vacation voyage went terribly wrong.

Suzanne Suwanda, Grand Princess Passenger: "Look at that!"
Dan Noyes: "There you are!"
Suzanne Suwanda, Grand Princess Passenger: "It's magic!"

Suzanne Suwanda is giving us an inside look at Travis Air Force Base where 858 people are under quarantine, for fear they contracted coronavirus aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship.

"I never realized how sad and depressed it's going to make me, it's really hard."

RELATED: Grand Princess cruise passengers in quarantine refuse COVID-19 tests at Travis AFB

A cruise to Hawaii sounded great to Suzanne. After all, what could go wrong?

"Girlfriend was going and she said, 'Hey want to share my cabin, it's leaving from San Francisco, that means you don't have to fly anywhere, we just drive up to the ship with all of our stuff, get on the ship,' and we were having a blast."

But, as the ship departed Hilo, Hawaii, the captain announced they would skip the stop in Ensenada, Mexico and return to San Francisco. A passenger on the trip right before had died from coronavirus in Placer County.

Suwanda told us, "And that was this ominous, ominous time that we went, oh my goodness, what's really happening?"

RELATED: Everything to know about the Grand Princess cruise ship that docked in Oakland

All passengers were confined to their cabins, as the ship circled off the coast of San Francisco. Suzanne watched as a Coast Guard helicopter dropped test kits to the ship. 21 passengers and crew tested positive. The captain made the announcement.

Grand Princess Captain: "Those who are California residents will go to federally operated isolation facility within California for testing and isolation."

Suzanne provided video from the bus leaving the Port of Oakland, and her last view of the ship as she headed off to quarantine at Travis.

Dan Noyes: "Are you concerned about your own health?"
Suzanne Suwanda: "Not really. Like a lot of contagious diseases, there's not a lot you can do. You do your best to protect yourself."

Suzanne showed us today's lunch service, passengers exercising, and guards who are clearly not keeping a social distance.

She wonders why the federal government is detaining the passengers when NBA players who had teammates test positive for coronavirus are allowed to go home.

CORONAVIRUS: Everything you need to know about San Francisco Bay Area's shelter-in-place order

"What do you suppose the risk is of people on a basketball team getting close together and perhaps exchanging droplets of mucus and such?" asked, Suwanda. "How come there's no protection from them?"

Suzanne is a small business owner of a vending service with five employees. "I'm worried about my drivers being safe, I'm worried about then getting sick, we're just devastated."

Suwanda is one of the majority of passengers who chose not to take a coronavirus test. She doesn't want to delay her release, and she tells us she plans on getting one on the way home, which should be early next week.

And through all this, she's keeping her sense of humor, putting masks on her hula dolls, and writing a coronavirus song.



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