He Booked a 60th Birthday Cruise For His Wife -- And They Ended Up In Quarantine
The 16-day cruise through Southeast Asia was a combined 60th birthday and Christmas gift for his wife.
But on what was supposed to be their last day aboard the Diamond Princess, Carl Goldman and Jeru Seratti-Goldman of Santa Clarita got a twist they were not expecting.
"We learned that one of the passengers who had exited in Hong Kong had come down with the virus," Goldman said. Officials later diagnosed a number of passengers with coronavirus, and the ship was placed in quarantine.
Now the couple is stuck with about 3,700 other passengers and crew members in a port in Yokohama as they wait out a two-week period of isolation.
Goldman and Seratti-Goldman, who own KHTS radio in the Santa Clarita Valley, are writing about their ordeal on the station's website. They're also posting Facebook Live videos that illustrate what it's like being stuck in small quarters on board a massive ship.
"I think the reason I haven't killed my husband yet is because our friends are here," Seratti-Goldman said jokingly during a livestream over the weekend.
"When people bring us meals, they serve us meals with masks," Seratti-Goldman said, adding, "the meals are delicious."
She said "this is the longest we've ever been gone from home," but the couple have remained stoic in their dispatches from the ship, even as Japanese health officials reported a total of 135 passengers and crew have now tested positive for coronavirus.
LIKE A 'TV MOVIE'
Reached by phone, Carl Goldman told us thermometers Japanese officials provided to check for fever have helped him and his wife keep their composure.
"Any time either of us coughs -- or sneezes or sniffles -- we're grabbing the thermometer," he said. "It's the best sign of relief we could possibly have."
Since they've started posting their experience on social media, they've gotten a lot of responses from fearful people who don't want them to return home, Goldman said.
"There is a lot of misinformation out there," he said. "We're perfectly safe once we get home."
Seratti-Goldman provided Facebook Live viewers with a tour of their cabin, where they're washing their clothes in the bathtub and getting big bottles of water delivered. The two even managed to catch the Academy Awards on the TV in their room, she said.
From the room's balcony, Seratti-Goldman provided a look at what's going on around the ship, as ambulances lined up to transport infected passengers to area hospitals. "I feel like I'm in a TV movie," Seratti-Goldman said.
Japanese health officials are expected to lift the quarantine orders next Tuesday, Japan time.