A reader just sent me a YouTube video by cruise vloggers Dee and Jay who operate the popular ParoDeeJay YouTube page. Dee and Jay went on a cruise on the Carnival Mardi Gras last week and Dee began experiencing symptoms (which she described as a tickly throat, fever and an “icky feeling”). She was given a PCR test on the ship (Jay was given an antigen test) and she tested positive for COVID19 during the cruise. In the video posted this morning, she says that she wants to stay “as positive as possible” and the symptoms were “not terrible.” She subsequently lost her taste and smell. And her treatment included receiving oxygen.
They were in the middle of preparing videos which they called the “Mardi Gras Cruise” series and which they abruptly suspended.
During self-quantaine in their cabin, they say that getting infected on a cruise is “kinda the new normal” like getting the virus at “Walmart or a grocery store.”
Jay states that they are both vaccinated “but COVID is out there . . . it’s something that we have to deal with.” He continues: “. . . and the point of the vaccination is that it’s gonna make I guess an easier time to deal with and you’re not gonna be as symptomatic or as spreading or you know it’s not as dangerous necessarily . . . “
I’m not sure that I agree with the conclusions of these well-liked cruise vloggers but that’s what they are saying.
The vloggers don’t mention whether there was any contact tracing which might have (and should have) occurred following her infection. I understand that there were other vloggers and bloggers on the cruise who they enjoyed time with during their back-to-back cruises on the Mardi Gras. The Mardi Gras has a capacity of around 5,000-6,000 passengers, so if it was operating at 60-70 capacity, then there were well over 3,000 guests on the ship during their cruise. And if this infection involved the highly contagious Delta variant, the R0 (pronounced “R naught”) (the mathematical term that indicates how contagious the infectious disease is) is as high as “7” or “8.” The virus on the Diamond Princess had a R0 of only “2.”
It also debatable that you are as likely to get infected in a Walmart or a grocery store as on a cruise ship. Most people don’t spend more than 45 minutes in a grocery store compared to spending as long as one week (168 hours) on a cruise ship with several thousands of crew members and other guests eating and drinking non-stop. The video also ignores the reality, as federal district court judge Kathleen Williams recently ruled (in the NCL versus State of Florida lawsuit), “scientific research shows that cruise lines are hotbeds for COVID-19 transmission.” This is not of course what cruise fans want to hear.
In any event, we hope Dee recovers from her infection and that her partner stays safe.
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Image credit: Carnival Mardi Gras – kees torn – CC BY-SA 2.0 commons / wikimedia.
Video credit: ParoDeeJay YouTube Page