Why won’t the sailors who abandoned ship get coronavirus soon enough?

“Navy will remove 2,700 sailors from aircraft carrier hit by coronavirus” (NBC):

The Navy plans to move 2,700 sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt to quarters in Guam as the number of sailors testing positive for the novel coronavirus has increased to 93, said acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly.

But “Experts tell White House coronavirus can spread through talking or even just breathing” (CNN).

Unless these sailors can stay in individual apartments forever, won’t they just get coronavirus as soon as they come out?

I understand the “flatten the curve” argument for the general civilian population, which includes obese diabetics, 85-year-olds with heart issues, etc. Does the “flatten the curve” religion apply to a population of young healthy sailors who generally retire before age 40? They’re not all chain-smoking next to the JP-5 fuel tanks, are they? How many could possibly require ventilator support (and, with it, an 86% chance of death)?

Also, won’t all of our Navy crews eventually get hit with coronavirus? Angela Merkel, Ph.D. in physics, estimated that 70 percent of Germans would get it (though possibly after a few extra weeks via flattening of the curve). Does that mean the entire U.S. Navy is going to be parked alongside the Carnival and Royal Caribbean fleets?

Is it time to sell some of these ships to the Chinese? (They can finish up work on the Australian ferry boats with guns: “The Navy spent $30B and 16 years to fight Iran with a littoral combat ship that doesn’t work”)

(Separately, isn’t it kind of ironic that our main naval dispute recently has been with China and now a virus from China (not to say “a Chinese virus”) has disabled our Navy!)

Charleston, South Carolina Patriots Point (more familiar to the British as “Traitors Point”):

Update: the sailors who said that they were worried about getting coronavirus all packed themselves into a hangar as tightly as Spring Breakers at a beach bar (YouTube). This was to bid farewell to the captain. If they didn’t have COVID-19 before, surely they do now!


  • “Brazil confirms first indigenous case of coronavirus in Amazon” (Guardian): The 20-year-old from the Kokama tribe tested positive for the virus in the district of Santo Antonio do Iá, near the border with Colombia, 880km (550 miles) up the Amazon river from the state capital Manaus (i.e., even they can get those littoral ships 550 miles up the Amazon, our young fit sailors won’t escape)

8 thoughts on “Why won’t the sailors who abandoned ship get coronavirus soon enough?

  1. Do you really think that it was a coincidence or random chance that COVID-19 got on that CVN after a Vietnam Port call?

    It’s much more likely that the Chinese military deliberately set out to infect sailors during the port call.

    That was a strategic coup on the part of the Chinese military.

  2. I asked a friend in the military, regarding your update, their answer: “it’s an aircraft carrier, they’re all always on top of each other. That was Actually the problem”.

    • They’re more on top of each other than on any other Navy ship?

      There are seven decks on an aircraft carrier, right? Approximate dimensions 1100×134′ means approximately 1 million square feet of interior space. Divided by 5600 crew (from the page below) that’s 185 square feet per person. More than a slave on a Silicon Valley coding plantation gets, but certainly no better than a Brooklynite sharing a 2BR apartment four ways.


      Let’s look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Fitzgerald (the ship that crashed into a container ship in Japan), it is approximately 505×66′ and holds 281 crew. I had a tough time finding information on how many decks there are, but it seems as though it is the equivalent of about two that go the full length. That’s 237 square feet per crew member.

      So maybe the carrier is a bit more cramped than the destroyer (tough to believe; maybe the above calculation is wrong because it fails to account for the fact that the destroyer is less well represented as a simple rectangle?), but if the aircraft carrier has to abandoned due to COVID-19 then I think the other ships will similarly have to be abandoned.

  3. This just in: Crozier has tested positive for COVID-19. He was symptomatic before leaving the Roosevelt.


    I think they were right to relieve him of command. He copied that letter to 20 or 30 people and the janitors at my local Walmart saw a copy before anyone in the Navy chain of command did. He took a strategic asset out of service without permission from his chain of command. It’s a moot point now, though, because it looks like he might have been relieved of command in any case after coming down with the virus.

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