CNY family stuck on cruise ship for coronavirus outbreak returns to the U.S.


CENTRAL NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — Two Charter Flights carrying passengers from a cruise ship that was quarantined in Japan amid the coronavirus outbreak have landed in the United States.

Four of those 340 U.S. passengers that were flown off the ship include a Central New York family.

The Molesky family will have to spend another two weeks in quarantine at the U.S. military facility to make sure they test negative for coronavirus.

The couple were on the Diamond Princess cruise but was stopped off the coast of Japan in Yokohama for a 14-day quarantine.

NewsChannel 9 spoke with Cheryl and Paul Molesky who, as you can imagine, were ready to be back in the states.

“I mean, you know we’ve been comfortable and you know we’ve been having fun, but okay… it’s over now, enough is enough… it’s time to go home,” the couple said.

They are being held in quarantine at the Lackland Air Force base in Texas after a long travel day.

Cheryl sent the following update to NewsChannel 9’s Adrienne Smith on Monday at 11 p.m.:

“To our family and friends,

We just woke up after sleeping the morning away. We are feeling fine, except for being dehydrated and tired. The trip to the plane and on the plane was no less than terrifying for both Paul and I. Pete and Cindy were with us the whole time. They had similar fears and concerns. Their room is close to ours here on the base. They are doing interviews now also, so look for them on TV too.

On the bus and on the flight, which lasted all night. I don’t even know how many hours. We felt like we were sitting in a soup bowl full of COVID19. The diamond princess was a dream vacation compared to that trip. Our masks were itchy and uncomfortable making it hard to breathe. To eat or drink anything you had to touch the outside of your mask to remove it and felt like you were introducing germs directly into your mouth. The floor and bathrooms were horrifyingly dirty and smelly. You felt like, if you crossed your legs or reach down to touch your bag, your shoes were going to contaminate the rest of your body as you sat squeezed into the tiny airline seat. I can’t even begin to describe it…

The sick people on the plane were separated from us by a thin sheet of plastic and duct tape. We saw people walking in and out of the plastic area. We had to walk by that area to go to the bathroom. The man behind us was taken away towards the end of the trip because he had a fever. The sick people had to stay on board and continued to Omaha after the rest of us departed from the plane.

I know that everyone was doing the best they could last night, but I doubt we would’ve gotten on the plane if we knew what it was going to be like. We might have been better off staying in Japan.  I guess we’ll only know if we get sick within the next two weeks.

We’re all fine so far! I hope it stays that way.”

The couple shared the following videos with NewsChannel 9 as they were traveling back to the states:

NewsChannel 9’s Adrienne Smith first spoke to Cheryl and Paul on February 10 via Skype.

They said their vacation started as beautifully as they had hoped, but ended early due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Our 15-day cruise ended a little bit early when we had to go in to Yokohama and have health inspection through the Japanese Health Authority because of the coronavirus,” said Cheryl and Paul.

When we spoke with the couple, they said they were doing everything they could to remain positive.

“It’s not going to keep us healthy by worrying. I mean we can’t do anything about it. We don’t know what’s going to happen day to day. at this point we don’t even know how we’re going to get home. but all we can do is just go with the flow and try to be happy while we’re here,” Cheryl explained.

The couple has been using YouTube to keep family, friends and the community up to date on their situation.

NewsChannel 9 also spoke with Cindy and Peter Molesky, who live in Rome, and traveled with Cheryl and Paul.

“You have to have a positive attitude to get through this,” said Peter Molesky of Rome.

Cindy and Peter said that the Princess Cruises were helping them with the challenges of being quarantined.

On February 16, Cheryl told NewsChannel 9 that as of Monday at 1:15 a.m. Japanese time, they were off the cruise ship and on a bus heading to the airport.

Photo sent from Cheryl Molesky shows Cheryl (Bottom Right), Paul Molesky (Bottom Left), Cindy Molesky (Top Left), Peter Molesky (Top Right)

The family is now one step closer to returning to Central New York.

Cheryl and Paul were tested for the coronavirus on February 13, but still have not heard the results.

“Last night, the captain said the people who were getting off and going to the hospital were notified. So, hopefully that means we had a negative result and we will be on the plane to the United States today,” they said on February 16.

NewsChannel 9 will keep you updated with the Molesky’s journey as we learn more.

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For more local news, follow NewsChannel 9 on Twitter @NewsChannel9

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