On land, more than 300,000 people worldwide had contracted the deadly coronavirus, and the governor of California had just ordered all 39 million residents to stay at home. But as the Celebrity Eclipse cruise ship steamed north across the Pacific Ocean on March 21, hundreds of passengers crammed together on the ship’s pool deck and overlooking gangways. As they stood shoulder-to-shoulder and crowded around pool chairs, the captain led the ship in a special salute to healthcare workers of the world, an onboard version of the nightly applause adopted by some cities to honour medical professionals battling the novel coronavirus. Five days later and thousands of kilometres away in the Atlantic, a group of British passengers aboard another ship, Coral Princess, likewise gathered elbow-to-elbow to cheer the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. READ MORE:Coronavirus: Emotional farewell to Covid-19-stricken Ruby PrincessCoronavirus: NZ Customs to investigate Ruby Princess cruise-ship staff after Covid-19 clusterCoronavirus: 16 Kiwis stranded on Coral Princess cruise ship with sick passengersFrom line dancing to lockdown: Cruise ships desperate to dockCoronavirus: Cruise ships kept sailing as Covid-19 spread. Why?Coronavirus: How it got onto Grand Princess cruise The celebratory mood did not last long. Soon, passengers on both ships were contending… Read full this story
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