The Loveless Boat

Cruise liners are not happy vessels these days – the Wuhan Plague having got aboard them  means they are floating pest ships. As they try to call at ports to get help for their passengers they are turned away or impounded. They’re not all Dutchmen but a lot of them are flying.

The only saving grace is that there can only be so many still out there. Severe movement restrictions for the world having started, surely no more cruises are starting – and ships that are clear of passengers and crew can be laid up in ordinary or parked in mothballs up some quarantine creek. It’s a hot potato game for whoever off-loads the people from them, but some states of Australia are staying firm about it all. In Western Australia we have a quarantine island and on-shore self-isolation hotels to bottle people up for a fortnight.

But what do you do about the industry? This plague is hellishly unusual now but it warns us that what happens once can happen again. And if there is a restart to the cruise-about business the mechanism is all set to fire when more ammunition is mutated or made.

I can think of what to do. Repatriate excess entertainment crew and all passengers after either quarantining them or curing them. Do it at government expense – and invite the ships to retain enough operational crew to sail away unmolested right now – with full bunkers at government expense. Not to another Australian port – away from mainland and island Australia. Home, if they have one.

If they refuse, remove the crew entirely and repatriate them via air immediately. Tow the vessels out to a suitable deep, burn them to the waterline, and sink the wrecks by gunfire or torpedoes. They are enemy warships in a biological war.


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