MARIETTA, Ga. - By phone, Karen and Harry Dever showed FOX 5 their room at Dobbins Air Reserve Base and joked about how they use their luggage and dresser drawers. It's a far cry from the balcony suite cabin they were confined to on the Grand Princess a week ago. Now they can get out and about as they wait out the rest of their two-week quarantine.
"We have masks everywhere because we can't go anywhere without a mask. I call it my bling now because I wear a mask instead of earrings," said Mrs. Dever.
The Devers are among more than 100 former cruise ship passengers at Dobbins coronavirus quarantine--watching from within the gates as the world around them changes dramatically in response to the deadly virus.
"My friend says we're probably safer here than all the craziness out there. We're being served three meals a day, temperatures taken twice a day 29 and the [Department of Health and Human Services] people here have been wonderful," Devers told FOX 5's Portia Bruner.
The Devers say-- at this point-- it's all about keeping life in perspective. Despite the fact that more than 20 passengers on the cruise ship tested positive for the deadly virus, the Devers still have no signs of COVID-19. The books and yarn Karen ordered arrived just in time to give her something to do for another week and she just learned she won first place in a quilting competition she entered before the ill-fated cruise.
"I was certain that quilt would be best of show, but I will settle for first place," she said as she chuckled. "I'm just glad to finally get my favorite cereal and milk because I was getting tired of all the eggs."
Now, the retirees are just waiting to hear when they can return to Moorestown, New Jersey.
"It's each state's decision on how they want quarantined people to be brought back into their state. Oklahoma just sent in a plane for their people and a bunch of New Yorkers just left. I've been trying to reach the mayor and other elected officials, so we'll see what happens," the retired schoolteacher said.
The Devers said they hope people will take some time to keep things in perspective, whether they're in quarantine or adjusting to a new lifestyle of social distancing.
"The silver lining is that we can all get closer from this. People need to focus on friends and family, and this is the time to reach out and do that while we have the time," the retired schoolteacher said.