Casino couple to escape ship plagued with coronavirus
AFTER 14 days in lockdown on a cruiseliner in Japan, Casino residents Dave and Jan Binskin are among more than 200 Australians who will be evacuated to Darwin on Wednesday.
On Monday they received a letter from the Australian Consulate, confirming they would be flown to Howard Springs Mining Camp for another fortnight of isolation.
The news was met with mixed emotions, relief that they would soon be on home soil and frustration that their tedium would likely continue.
Hundreds of other passengers have been diagnosed with the deadly coronavirus or Covid-19, and the Binskins have been living in fear that they will be next.
"It's been a total botch up, another 99 passengers came down with coronavirus yesterday," Dave said.
"We are sitting in an incubator, it's mentally killing us.
"We should have been taken off this ship the day it was discovered."
They've been checking their temperatures frenetically, three times per day, to make sure they're still safe.
They are concerned the virus could be transmitted via the airconditioning system, and have been relying on the media for information about the illness.
Despite circumstances, the couple say they're upbeat.
"We're trying to have a sense of humour about it," Dave said.
"We're contemplating building a slide from our balcony to get off this ship."
The Binskins have been keeping a diary, and plan to publish a book when they get home.
A fortnight in a room together, with the occasional walk on deck every few days has only fortified their 49-year marriage.
"I have my lovely wife here, that's enough, she's been a stalwart, and we haven't tried to kill each other yet," Dave said.
However they do expect the trip to Darwin will test their patience.
Passengers from the United States evacuated the ship earlier in the week, and it took them all night to reach the airport, which is half an hour's drive from the port.
"It could be an ordeal," Dave said.
Despite the frightening experience, this is not the end of their cruising days. Dave and Jan have another trip booked for Panama in May.