Midlothian couple describes chaos, lack of communication from inside federal quarantine

Local News

MIDLOTHIAN, Va. (WRIC) — A cruise to nowhere, except quarantine.

A Midlothian couple told 8News on Friday that they were aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship, which had passengers and crew members who tested positive for coronavirus. After floating off “the coast of California for days,” they are finally back on land and in quarantine at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia.

La Donna Wheatley and her husband David said they left Midlothian on Feb. 18 and that they have no idea when they’ll be back home. She described how her vacation became a nightmare.

“We never really left the U.S. except international waters,” Wheatley said over Facetime from quarantine. “It’s not like we went to a foreign port. I feel psychologically tortured honestly.”

The couple said they were stuck on board the Grand Princess without information and isolated in their cabin for a week. They have now finally been allowed off the ship and have flown to Georgia, but remain unsure of the health status of their fellow passengers.

“So my week of quarantine on the ship isolation in a room with my husband and no contact with anyone was out the window,” Wheatley told 8News.

Wheatley also described the stark isolation they lived through.

“When the crew would bring your dinner to your door they would knock and they would leave immediately,” she explained. “They’d set it on the floor in front of your door.”

Frustrated by the lack of communication she said they’ve received, Wheatley even called the CDC “ill-equipped” through the whole process.

Wheatley wants the public to know how she was treated during this worldwide crisis.

“All this time where we’re just waiting for communication and getting nothing has been the hardest part,” she said.

Wheatley told 8News the cruise line company is refunding their money and has also offered a free trip in the future. On top of their current stress, the couple says they have a grandchild due April 6 and have no idea when they’ll get to see the baby.

For more coronavirus coverage, click here.

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