It was a dream vacation for a N. Augusta couple. Then, COVID-19 turned it into a nightmare.

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Monday, April 6, 2020

(Source: WRDW)

NORTH AUGUSTA, SC (WRDW/WAGT) -- Imagine you're in your room. You've got food, water, a bathroom, electronics -- everything you need. You just can't leave. Sounds fun for maybe a day right?

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One North Augusta couple has been doing it for 7 days, and they have no idea when they get to come home.

Kurt and Jan Menger always wanted to visit Machu Picchu. They spent a week in Peru before leaving Chile for a 2 week cruise on March 5. What started as a dream vacation, quickly turned into a nightmare.

They were supposed to fly home to North Augusta on March 19.

“The CDC issued a mandate that no cruise passengers, even if they are well, can fly commercially,” Jan said.

​As the world outside began to shut down, their world did too. On March 31, they found out people on the cruise tested positive for COVID-19.

“Prior to March the 30th, we thought we had what we called a clean, healthy ship,” Jan said.

Now that they aren't clean and healthy, they have to stay in their room 24 hours a day.

“Thankfully, our room is on the side of the dock, so we can actually look out and see what's happening outside,” Jan said.

They've had to watch as other passengers leave -- either to go home or the hospital.

“Unfortunately we've seen lots of ambulances come,” Jan said.

They say people from other states and countries have gotten charter planes home, but they're still stuck, waiting for their turn to leave.

The Mengers say morale is still high even though their situation isn't ideal.

We asked them what it was like to have such a different perspective on the outbreak. They say it's hard to put it into words, but to sum it up, it's just insane. A lot of us have been saying the same thing.

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