Fort Langley resident Spencer Ferenbacher spent a month in quarantine, two weeks aboard a cruise ship, then two weeks at U.S. air force base (Spencer Ferenbacher/special to Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Langley man finally freed from quarantine looking forward to ‘nice, cold beer’

Spencer Ferenbacher plans to celebrate at his favourite restaurant

If all goes well, Spencer Ferenbacher will be home in Fort Langley by Wednesday, March 4, ending a long quarantine that began aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship and ended at a U.S. military base in California.

“It will be a whole month, to the day,” Fehrenbacher told the Langley Advance Times Sunday, the night before he was to be released from Travis Air Force Base in Sacramento.

“I am very ready to get out.”

His most recent test at the base found him to be free of the Covid-19 virus, which has killed roughly 3,000 people and sickened tens of thousands since it began spreading.

Fehrenbacher, who has American citizenship, was flown out by a U.S. military plane along with other U.S. citziens from the Diamond Princess, after it was quarantined in Japan.

In a video he posted to the non-profit Ruptly video news agency, Fehrenbacher described a “very long flight, full of people coughing, full of people wearing haz-mat suits,” calling it “scary.”

As of Sunday, at least six people from the ship had died and more than 700 of the 3,711 aboard had contracted the virus.

READ ALSO: Fort Langley man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

At the air force base, the Diamond Princess passengers spent their quarantine at the “Air Force Inns,” what appeared to be a hotel complex for non-military visitors.

The accommodations were comfortable and the food was “surprisingly” good, Fehrenbacher noted, but he was looking forward to resuming life in Fort Langley.

“Hearing the trains every 20, 25 minutes and that British Columbia rain,” he recounted.

He won’t miss the early morning knocks on the door of his room, where he would have to put on a breathing mask and present himself to be tested.

READ ALSO: B.C. confirms 8th case of COVID-19; 1,000 tested for novel coronavirus

Fehrenbacher may have avoided getting the virus because he used boiling water to sterilize the plate and cutlery handled by the ship staff who delivered meals to people confined to their cabins.

Via phone, a friend had insisted Spencer use hand sanitizer to prevent viral contamination of plates and utensils, but he opted to use the electric kettle in the room instead.

As it turned out, a number of ship’s crew, possibly including food handlers, came down with the virus.

Another decision that may have helped Fehrenbacher avoid the virus was declining to take part in the irregularly scheduled hour- to hour-and-half-long breaks with other ship passengers.

He gave the break a pass because he happened to have a cabin with a balcony.

Later, he read that the precautions, that were supposed to be in place to prevent the virus spreading during those breaks, broke down over time and were not being followed, with some people taking part while they had a fever and others failing to keep the required minimum distance of six from other passengers while walking on the ship deck.

Fehrenbacher isn’t sure if those decisions made a difference, but he was looking forward to a time when he didn’t have to make those kinds of calculations,.

It amounts to a near-constant state of “cautious anxiety,” he explained.

“If you get a cough, you wonder, ‘am I still healthy?’ ‘That time I cleared my throat, is that normal?’”

“I think that I might have spotted a couple more patches of grey hair,” he commented.

He was going to be travelling with his father, Scott Fehrenbacher, who arrived in Sacramento the day before Spencer was due to be discharged.

Because they couldn’t book a flight back until Wednesday, Scott and Spencer were planning to spend two days hanging out in Sacramento.

Then, once he is back in Fort Langley, Spencer intends to celebrate with his favourite meal.

“A nice, cold beer, and a chicken sandwich, with yam fries, at the Trading Post Eatery.”



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusFort LangleyLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Fort Langley resident Spencer Ferenbacher spent a month in quarantine, two weeks aboard a cruise ship, then two weeks at U.S. air force base (Spencer Ferenbacher/special to Langley Advance Times)

Just Posted

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

OBITUARY: Sherrold Haddad brought giant Canadian flag to Surrey car dealership, built community

‘An amazing man, business person and community leader,’ friend Bruce Hayne posted to Facebook

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

MARCH 28: Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

‘There is community’: B.C. councillor welcomes new baby into world amid COVID-19 pandemic

‘I realize there’s much more than fear and worry… there is hope, there is new life’: Jason Lum

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

Most Read