BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The coronavirus pandemic turned the end of Arlinda Peyton’s dream 25th wedding anniversary cruise into a nightmare.

For days, she and her husband Willie were among the 12 Marylanders stranded in the Pacific Ocean on the Grand Princess, the ship where more than 20 people tested positive. Then, they were taken to Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia.

Arlinda Peyton and her husband Willie on a previous trip

“You just never knew what was happening from one moment to the next,” she told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren. “If you asked questions, you never got an answer. It was very dysfunctional. They didn’t have answers. The biggest thing we wanted to know is when we were going to get tested.“

Passengers being removed from the Grand Princess

She describes being in a fenced-in area at Dobbin and said it was frustrating not to know when she would get home to Mount Airy.

“I immediately called the governor’s office,” she said. Her daughter began calling lawmakers as well.

Arlinda Peyton speaks to WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren via FaceTime

At a press conference in Hanover last week, Governor Larry Hogan promised to bring the stranded Marylanders home.

“The bottom line is the governor got us back home yesterday. I was tested at BWI Marshall Airport and then driven home by the National Guard, and now I am here and in home quarantine.”


She expects the test results to come back this week and is supposed to get a daily call from a state contact person.

“I went down a long road to get home with no answers from the government,“ she said. “But it’s nice to go back to my own bed and everything I know.”

On Wednesday, Governor Hogan said experts do not know how long drastic measures will have to be in place.

He encouraged social distancing and all Marylanders to work together to stop the spread of COVID-19.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.


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