JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – The Rogue Valley couple that were stuck on a cruise ship during a COVID-19 outbreak are now back home.
We’ve been following Bud and Carla LeFever’s story for nearly a month as they sat in confinement aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of Oakland before moving to quarantine in Miramar and finally making the trek back to their home.
“It’s definitely a different world than when we left six weeks ago,” said Bud LeFever, as he talked with NewsWatch 12’s Alicia Rubin today, recounting their journey.
Bud and Carla got a little more than they bargained for when they left on February 19 for what was planned to be a two-week cruise.
“We were fortunate you know, we got through it unscathed,” said Carla LeFever, “we got to know each other better after 50 years of marriage.”
Their survival method surrounded games and love.
“We would play scrabble several times a day and we’d play gin rummy,” said Carla, “I would make scarves for people who have breast cancer.”
Their positive attitude was constant throughout the entire experience but they say it definitely wasn’t all smiles.
“Forever, we were kind of on edge because we both had coughs, we didn’t have a fever but it’s just the unknown,” said Carla, “Bud has COPD so if he’d gotten the virus it could’ve been deadly.”
The LeFever’s were tested about 3 days after arriving in Miramar, where they were isolated inside a room for quarantine following their cruise. According to Bud and Carla, 75% of those in quarantine were tested for COVID-19. After a long 10-day wait they finally received their test results and were both negative.
After renting a car and driving back to Southern Oregon the LeFever’s were greeted by family members standing 6 ft. apart, with chalk drawings on their sidewalk and signs to welcome them home.
After 38 days away from home they are happy to have the ability to go from room to room inside their own house and the comforts of home.
They just have one final message for the Rogue Valley.
“People of the Rogue Valley, thank you,” said Bud, “The people that made positive comments and encouragement and were offering prayers, it meant so much.”