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Couple on a 24 day rafting trip return to find coronavirus pandemic

Jul 5th 2020, 1:25 am
Posted by matthewpre
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An Oregon couple went on a nearly month-long trip rafting through the Grand Canyon almost completely unaware of how devastating the coronavirus had become in the United States as they pretty much had 'radio silence.' 

Gayle Murphy and wikibase.plantdata.io Chris Murray, from Portland, had begun their 24-day adventure down the Colorado River on March 1 and would not learn the impact of COVID-19 in the country until they completed the journey on March 24. 

They were completely unprepared for a world where nothing would be open as people took to social distancing to try to curb the spread of the virus. 

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Gayle Murphy and Chris Murray, from Portland, had begun their 24-day adventure down the Colorado River on March 1

Gayle Murphy and Chris Murray, from Portland, had begun their 24-day adventure down the Colorado River on March 1

There were few recorded cases in the US when Gayle and Chris went away, but the number of confirmed patients has skyrocketed over the last few weeks

There were few recorded cases in the US when Gayle and Chris went away, but the number of confirmed patients has skyrocketed over the last few weeks

'There's a normal amount of culture shock when you come back from being disconnected,'  Murphy explained to

Prior to starting her trip, Murphy took one last look at her emails and learned that her home state had just announced its first suspected case of the coronavirus. At the time, the case was not confirmed.  

Life in Oregon had been mostly the same, with health officials stressing that Oregonians wash their hands. 

The state now has 606 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 16 people have died.

On March 1, the pair met up with professional river guides and more than a dozen other people. They would ride down the river in six rafts.