A group of scientists who were isolated for eight months on a remote island with no TV, cell service and limited access to the internet have returned home to a raging pandemic. In February, the four researchers left for Kure Atoll, a tiny dot in the Pacific Ocean, 1,300 miles from Honolulu.
The scientists are now adjusting from going to an isolated island to a pandemic-stricken world.
“We had no connection to exactly what was going on back at home,” researcher Matthew Saunter told Inside Edition.
Another researcher, Matthew Butschek, said he was stunned by the first image he saw on TV when he landed at the airport in Honolulu.
“They had Sportscenter playing on the TV in the lobby, and it was weird seeing no people in all the stadium seats,” Butschek said.
Researcher Charlie Thomas was shocked to see that the tourist mecca of Waikiki was a complete ghost town.
“All the streets were empty, and there was nobody around. Yeah, that was pretty freaky too,” Thomas said.
Researcher Naomi Worcester says after eight months away, coming home to wearing masks and social distancing was tough.
“To see our friends, we could only do it from safe social distance. No hugs,” Worcester said.
From living in one of the safest bubbles on earth to an out of control pandemic, life has been a big adjustment.
Despite the pandemic, a new team is already being put together to return to the island because the scientists say the research must continue.