YOKOHAMA, JAPAN—Linking arms together and digging their feet heels triumphantly into the ground, hundreds of passengers aboard a coronavirus-infected cruise ship refused to leave Friday after forming unlikely friendships with each other that transcended their nationalities and languages. “When we first set out on this journey, we were nothing but strangers, but now, after spending over two weeks together, I am proud to call myself a member of the Diamond Princess family,” said American passenger Jeremy Haab to a crowd of stunned, hazmat-clad officials on shore, repeating the same phrase in several languages including Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Farsi, and Dutch. “Although you may try to remove us and send us to our respective homes, know that the unbreakable bond we now share can never be shattered. Whether you are a 3-year-old boy from Australia or an 81-year-old woman from Hong Kong, you are all my brothers and sisters. So rise up, my family! This ship is ours!” At press time, Haab could be seen donning a captain’s uniform, ordering his fellow passengers to “break free from the shackles of society” and steer their boat out into the open seas.
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