For Rebecca Frasure of Forest Grove, Ore. — one of now 135 people diagnosed with the new coronavirus aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship — so far, the uncertainty’s been worse than the disease.

She had a light cough. Now she doesn’t, and she doesn’t have a fever. But she doesn’t know if she’ll get other symptoms.

She doesn’t know when she’ll be released from the Tokyo hospital holding her in quarantine.

She doesn’t know exactly when she’ll be allowed to return home.

And she doesn’t know what’ll happen to her husband, Kent, who’s currently quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess.

“I need a hard date when I will know when I will be out of here,” Frasure said Monday from her hospital bed. “When I will be cleared. When I can go home.”


The Diamond Princess has been docked just south of Tokyo, with those who aren’t infected — like Rebecca’s husband, Kent Frasure — quarantined on board. The sick, like Rebecca Frasure, have been taken ashore for quarantine and treatment in hospitals.

The disease, now called COVID-19, is raging through Asia, striking China particularly hard. It has infected tens of thousands and killed more than 1,000 people.

It has symptoms similar to the flu, but much about it is unknown. Countries around the world are taking extreme measures to stop its spread. The United States is routing people flying in from Wuhan, China — the city where the disease is believed to have started — to Air Force bases, for example. There have been 12 confirmed cases in the United States as of Jan. 21, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Rebecca Frasure, 35, has at least six more days to go at the hospital in Tokyo. But she’s relatively lucky. Although the disease can kill, her symptoms have been mild to nonexistent.

Two officials with the U.S. Embassy came to visit her at her request, she said, but they didn’t tell her much more than what she already knew: She will be retested for the virus by the end of the week and that if she comes out negative for coronavirus, she will be free to go — as early as Monday, she said.

But then there’s her husband to consider, who will be on the ship at least until Feb. 19, according to Princess Cruises’ quarantine timeline.


The couple FaceTimed on Monday when Kent Frasure was allowed to leave his suite on the ship and go on deck.

For Rebecca Frasure, the only “outside time” she gets is her view through the approximately 5-by-5-foot window to the left of her bed.

She can see the sky, some trees and a parking lot. It was sunny Monday, not a cloud in the sky, she said.

“I just feel like I could go out there and feel the breeze,” she said.

Rebecca Frasure’s mother, who lives in Beaverton, Ore., said she is thankful that her daughter isn’t showing coronavirus symptoms. But she is worried about the impact being separated from each other could have on her son-in-law and her daughter.

“They are basically in solitary confinement,” Nancy Landes said. “I worry about their mental health.”

That’s why Landes looks forward to her daughter’s regular Facebook posts, she said.

“It’s good to see that she’s still hanging in there,” she said.

— Fedor Zarkhin

©2020 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)

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