Life in Quarantine During Coronavirus Pandemic

Carl Goldman spent last week pacing around his small room in Omaha, Nebraska, in order to balance his daily task of taking 10,000 steps so he could better.

The sixty-seven-year-old man, from Los Angeles, is among over 160 Americans who have been infected with the coronavirus.

He explained how he became an object of intense scientific interest.

“They are swabbing everything I touch,” Carl said when talking to CNN by phone from his isolation room. “They put a unit in (the quarantine room) to capture the air to get a better understanding of how this virus is moving inside my body and outside my body.”

He and the other Americans who are experiencing life in quarantine describe a life of real boredom mixed with uncertainty.

Cheryl and Paul Molesky were quarantined for 28 days, 12 days aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, and 16 days in a room at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

Cheryl compared the quarantine unit to a $50 hotel room.

“It wasn’t that bad — it had a little refrigerator and a microwave,” she said.

Carl Goldman also was on the Diamond Princess when he was confirmed positive for the coronavirus. He had been under quarantine for 21 days in total at the University of Nebraska’s hospital system in Omaha.

He said the symptoms started with a high fever and started during his plane ride from Tokyo to Omaha.

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“Unlike colds or the flu, there’s no runny nose, no sneezing, no body aches,” he added. “Even when I had a high fever, which was over 103, there were no chills. No sore throat.”

Goldman has been blogging about his experience and added that healthcare workers downgraded him about a week ago because his condition has improved, even though he was tested positive for the virus again.

“I still have the remnants of a dry cough,” Goldman said.

The first 12 days of his solitary quarantine were spent in a small biocontainment room. Then they moved him to a larger unit that is equipped with a TV, bed, internet and a stationary bicycle.

“I’ve been walking the room to get 10,000 steps a day, and here it’s 14 steps till I hit the wall,” Carl said, “which is a joy because when I was in the biocontainment, it was seven steps.”

Before his solitary containment, Carl and his wife, Jeri, were quarantined together on the ship for 12 days. They own a radio station in California together.

“That’s a test for any marriage,” Carl joked. “We made it through that; we can make it through anything.”

They flew together to Omaha but were separated then. She tests negative for the virus and has returned home to Los Angeles.

Goldman said the isolation is not that bad.

“I’m fine,” he said. “They do a town hall meeting every day at 3 o’clock, so all the patients here get on. We’re talking to CDC officials, they’ve got a psychologist, so I’m good that way.”