IRVING, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — North Texas newlyweds Tyler and Rachel Torres are finally back home in North Texas after their honeymoon was disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.
The couple was quarantined aboard their cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, before being flown to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio for an additional 14 days in isolation.
But after two negative tests for the coronavirus and remaining symptom free, they finally made it back home this week.
“I cooked tacos for lunch today and it was so exciting,” Rachel shared.
Her husband, Tyler, added “when we got home, I took stuff and threw it in the washer. I’ve never seen Rachel look at me like that, not even on our wedding day.”
After some 40 days away from home and 28 of those spent in quarantine, the simple things — like playing with their puppy and doing chores — are now pure pleasure for them.
But, their return to North Texas hasn’t been completely problem free. There were the unexpected headaches like flat tires and dead batteries… then there was the anxious reaction at the car dealership when they went for repairs.
“I went in the first time and nobody really noticed me,” Tyler said. “Apparently somebody overheard and spread it around. When I went to go pick my car back up, there was no one there. The manager basically told me that, ‘People are a little concerned that you’re here, and so everybody’s tucked away.'”
Tyler said the manager continued to ‘joke’ that he was going to wash his hands after shaking his hand, “that kind of thing.”
Married in September, the Torres’ much anticipated honeymoon took a drastic turn while onboard the Diamond Princess, docked off the coast of Japan. Everyone on board was quarantined in their cabins.
“We didn’t think too much of it until the second week and those numbers kept going up up up,” Tyler recalled. The couple shared that from their balcony, they could see ambulances pulling away and Rachel admitted that she’d begun to worry.
“So we kept waiting and waiting for somebody to knock on the door and take one of us to the hospital and be separated,” Rachel said.
They admit that they were relieved to be flown back to the U.S., even if that meant more time in quarantine. But, they stress that they never contracted the virus.
“You really can’t say it enough because people are afraid and won’t necessarily listen,” Rachel said.
Having shared their journey through dozens of media interviews and Tyler’s blog, both say they don’t regret becoming advocates; however, they say that they weren’t entirely prepared for the reach of the publicity either.
“We’re wondering when we go out in public, are we going to get recognized? And when people are afraid, what are people going to do?” Tyler questioned.
“I understand why people are afraid, but at the same time it’s super important for us to emphasize that those of us who have been quarantined have never been sick,” Rachel said. “We’re the safest people in America right now, because we’ve been tested.”
In spite of the awkward moments, they both say the publicity led to overwhelming support for everyone enduring the quarantine. And Rachel is especially grateful for the care they received from the government staffers, who once delivered her a Dr. Pepper in the middle of the night.
“I think we’ve definitely received a lot more support than people who are worried,” she said. “And there are definitely people who are worried. And I understand their concerns, but it’s a matter of making sure that everybody is aware that we haven’t been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 for the past 14 days, and we’ve been quarantined for 27 to keep everybody safe.”