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Former Wisconsin Badger returns home after cruise ship nightmare

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DANE COUNTY (WKOW) -- A former UW-Madison student returned home to Cincinnati on Friday after she was stuck on a coronavirus stricken cruise ship for three weeks. 

Andrea Anderson and her husband left on a cruise with Holland America’s Zaandam on March 14th, but they didn’t know how bad it would get with COVID-19. 

There were about 200 Americans on the ship, nine people were tested positive for COVID-19, and four passengers died.

“We were confined to our cabin, it was a long time to be in there. We had a queen-sized bed, there was a small loveseat, a desk, and a bathroom.” Anderson said. “That’s all we had.” 

The couple shared a 200 square feet space with limited wifi connection and Anderson said anytime they had meals delivered to their door they would have to wear masks to pick it up. 

Three weeks later Anderson and her husband along with other passengers were finally able to leave the cruise ship. 

“They took our temperature, they wrote it down and I got a little slip of paper that said, clear to debark, which meant I could get off the ship,” Anderson said. 

The Anderson’s were allowed to leave the cruise ship on Friday at 9:30 in the morning. They spent a total of twelve hours traveling in planes and cars to make it to their home in Cincinnati.

“To talk in the door last night and have all of this open space was just wonderful,” Anderson said. 

Anderson said she felt relieved and appreciative to be able to do small things like move around in her house when she wanted. 

“This morning, I went out on our screen porch and just listened to the birds,” Anderson said. “It was nice to have fresh air."

Anderson and her husband will be self-isolating at home for two weeks as recommended by the CDC.

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Alyssa Hui


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