Coronavirus: Georgia couple quarantined in different countries say 3-week separation was worse than illness itself

Dale and Sherry Grizzle were onboard the Diamond Princess that was quarantined for two weeks in Yokohama, Japan. While Sherry found herself taken to Washington state, Dale was transported to Japan


                            Coronavirus: Georgia couple quarantined in different countries say 3-week separation was worse than illness itself
(Getty Images)

A Georgia couple who had been quarantined in different countries after testing positive for the novel coronavirus on their ill-fated cruise ship have finally been reunited.

Dale and Sherry Grizzle had been onboard the Diamond Princess, the ship that was quarantined for two weeks in Yokohama, Japan, after one passenger who had left earlier in Hong Kong tested positive for the virus.

The ship unwittingly became the symbol of the COVID-19 pandemic after around 700 of the 3,700 people on board, including Dale and Sherry, were ultimately found to have the virus in what experts pronounced as a public health failure.

Before the quarantine ended, hundreds of Americans who were on board were flown to military bases in California and other states for a further two weeks of quarantine. Australia, Hong Kong, Italy, and Canada also evacuated its citizens from the cruise.

It was here that Dale and Sherry were separated. While Sherry found herself taken to Washington state, Dale was transported to Japan, in what the latter claimed was "the first time ever in our life we were apart."

They were reunited earlier this week and said their separation, and not the virus, was the worst part of their ordeal.

"We've never been apart like this before, and it was pretty stressful," Dale shared. "That may have been the worst part of the whole deal."

The couple explained that the symptoms had onset gradually and that they were lucky it did not "turn into a real bad case."

"When I first started having symptoms, it was just a mild sore throat and a headache and that lasted for several days," Sherry said. "I didn't think anything of it, but Dale had already been diagnosed so I began to wonder if maybe I had the virus also."

"I ran a fever for about two and a half weeks that I couldn't seem to get rid of, and I developed some pneumonia, a milder case of pneumonia, but pneumonia nonetheless, and it was stubborn, but thankfully it didn't turn into a real bad case so I was able to overcome it," Dale similarly said, adding he was "very well cared for" in Japan.

"I couldn't have asked for any better care," he insisted. "The team of doctors and nurses that took care of me were absolutely awesome, and I can never thank them enough for the care that I received."

He urged people in the U.S. to listen to health experts and take precautions as the pandemic continued to worsen. "We encourage our fellow Americans not to panic -- just be smart, wash your hands often," he said.

The U.S. currently has 3,774 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the country, with the virus claiming 69 lives. Across the world, more than 169,000 have been infected in 148 countries.

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