Coronavirus changes course of Saucier couple’s cross-country trip

Coronavirus changes course of Saucier couple’s cross-country trip

SAUCIER, Miss. (WLOX) - A Saucier couple are back home after being on board the last Carnival Cruise ship left at sea and a cross country journey that brought them from San Francisco back home to South Mississippi.

Still, the passengers on the ship were not worried.

“No masks being worn, no hysteria, no panic,” said Saucier resident Mona Franzen who was on the ship with her husband, Mike, his sister, and brother-in-law.

The Carnival Miracle had come from Miami through the Panama Canal and up the west coast of Mexico.

“We wanted to stay out there on that ship because we were fine and having fun. And nobody was sick, and they were feeding us and we had toilet paper,” Franzen said.

While they had no illness on their ship, they could not dock at San Franciso as scheduled because the city was on lockdown. They had planned to spend a week in the city after the cruise.

Once they docked in Los Angeles, the Saucier quartet decided to drive back to Mississippi. They were worried about possible exposure to the novel coronavirus on airplanes.

As they made their way across the country, they could sense that people were worried.

“Everybody was great helping each other, but they were in a panic," she said during an interview at her home on Wednesday. “I think they just didn’t really know what all of this was going to become.”

State after state, they saw the same thing.

“It was happening everywhere that there was no supplies in Walmart, the restaurants were closing down to dine in and the traffic was very low,” she said. “The states were literally locking their doors as we moved eastward.”

Franzen said it has been striking to see everyone share the same experience.

“God has leveled the playing field. It’s the whole world now for survival,” she said.

Later, comparing the pandemic to Hurricane Katrina, she highlighted how this is bringing people together.

“This reminds me of Katrina. How our community pulled together, and everybody in surrounding states pulled together for us, but now it’s a national and global thing and everybody’s pulling together,” she said.

The couple is in self-quarantine to be safe, and she firmly believes everybody across the country should do the same thing.

Franzen said the passengers on the ship have kept in contact, and they still have not had any reports of coronavirus infections.

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