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Frustration mounts for cruise ship travellers returning to Kamloops after exposure to COVID-19

Last Updated Mar 25, 2020 at 5:06 pm PDT

A Kamloops couple spent more than six days in isolation on the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California. (Courtesy Wray McClelland)
Summary

Wray McClelland says he and his wife boarded a plane to Vancouver with dozens of passengers who could have had the virus

McClelland says their Air Canada flight from Toronto had more than 200 people on it

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — What was the point of isolating ourselves for 22 days?

That’s what a couple from Kamloops is asking after they make their way home from a quarantine camp at a military base in Trenton, Ontario where 13 people have tested positive for COVID-19.

Wray McClelland says he and his wife boarded a plane Wednesday morning to Vancouver with dozens of passengers who could have easily been exposed to the virus.

“You get on the plane.  They jam you in there and as soon as the plane comes to a stop, everybody’s up.  They don’t even suggest we’re going to disembark by rows and keep people separated,” he says. “Nope. The people, you can’t even move, turn around because someone’s shoulder to shoulder with a whole row of people –200 people.  Just absolutely ridiculous!”

McClelland says their Air Canada flight from Toronto had more than 200 people on it.

“There was no test either to come over to Vancouver, so a lot of people in flip-flops, a lot of people in shorts and a lot of people with good tans, so they came from somewhere,” he explains. “I don’t how many times I have to go through isolation or why they would allow planes to fill them up to actually capacity is beyond me.”

McClelland says, not that they’re home in Kamloops, he’s expected to report for work at CN Rail where, as an engineer, he’s considered an essential service employee.

“Seems a waste of my 22 days to be in isolation and to be just exposed to the virus all over again in a way I can’t even protect myself and stay away from people.  I’m not going to go anywhere near my parents with underlying conditions.  My wife is probably going to stay home.  We’ve had friends pick up groceries for us.”

McClelland has been speaking with NEWS 1130 since March 9th when he and his wife were stuck on the contaminated Grand Princess ship off the coast of California.

That cruise celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary ended abruptly after other passengers got sick and since then, 13 more people have tested positive in Trenton.

“It’s almost like Johnny Appleseed where you just spread the virus in as many locations as you can because everyone now goes on to different connections and then, they get on different planes and get to different people.  You can only protect yourself so much, wipe the arm rests down, wearing a face mask when you can and so, I don’t know what you can do,” he says.