A stand-up comedian who spent 6 days in COVID-19 quarantine on a cruise ship has spoken of the “panic and anxiety” she felt in her windowless cabin

The front of a cruise ship.
Cruise comedian Jen Murphy recounted her experience of COVID-19 quarantine to the LA Times. Getty Images
  • A comedian who tested positive for COVID-19 aboard a cruise ship recounted her experience of quarantine to the LA Times.
  • Jen Murphy said she isolated for six days in a windowless cabin below deck, experiencing “panic and anxiety.”
  • She said meals were left outside her cabin in a red plastic bag marked “Hazardous Waste Material.”

A comedian who quarantined aboard a cruise ship after testing postive for COVID-19 has recounted her isolating experience in a small, windowless cabin below deck.

In an essay published in the Los Angeles Times Wednesday, Jen Murphy, a 47-year-old Los Angeles-based stand-up comedian who was due to perform on the ship, wrote about the “panic and anxiety” that set in during her six days of isolation.

Murphy said breakfast, lunch, and dinner were left outside her cabin on a tray covered in a red plastic bag marked “Hazardous Waste Material.” She said she was stuck with a TV that had only five channels.

She said she woke up the first couple mornings “drenched in my own sweat” so she covered her sheets with a towel because there was no maid service for patients. By the fourth day, her legs began to cramp from “too much time spent vertically,” she said.

Murphy wrote in the LA Times: “By the third night my panic and anxiety at having no fresh air had now converted into more of a personal fear of being a woman alone in a secluded room.”

She said she felt a “sense of shame and disappointment” every time the nightly comedy show was announced over the ship’s public address system.

Murphy said she woke up with a pounding headache and dry throat the first night after boarding the ship in Miami. Upon visiting the ship’s doctor, she recounted how he “did not seem happy that I’d be joining the dozens of other sick crew members, a number that was multiplying by the day.”

She said she was soon escorted below deck by a woman dressed in full medical scrubs and a face shield. “That was the last interaction I would have with a human being for the rest of the cruise,” she wrote.

Murphy said: “It felt like I was going to jail for a crime I didn’t commit.”

Other cruise passengers and crew have described their experiences of COVID-19 isolation aboard cruise ships. They told The Washington Post they endured rotten food, hours without water, and loneliness